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Portland Timbers vs. Columbus Crew SC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Portland Timbers vs. Columbus Crew SC
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 30

Providence Park — Portland
Sept. 19 — 10:30 pm ET


Following a stunning 4-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, the Portland Timbers return home to take on a Columbus Crew SC side that has lost just once in their last seven games following a 0-0 draw at FC Dallas.

Both teams have 44 points with the Timbers level on points with the fifth-place Seattle Sounders, four points above the playoff line in the Western Conference, while Crew SC are fourth in the East.

This will be the 10th-ever meeting between Portland and Columbus, and the third since Portland beat Columbus 2-1 in the 2015 MLS Cup. Including that game, the Timbers are 4W-3L-2D against Crew SC, scoring multiple goals in the last five matches, per Opta.

Portland Timbers

After picking up seven points from their last three matches, Portland (12-8-8) fell to the Dynamo, 4-1, on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Stadium.

An Alejandro Fuenmayor own goal gave the Timbers an early lead, but Alberth Elis leveled in the 32nd minute and Mauro Manotas scored the first of his two goals in the 39th minute to put the Dynamo in front. Manotas struck again in the 71st minute and Fuenmayor added an insurance goal 10 minutes later.

“For me today wasn’t good enough. So we have to realize that,” Giovanni Savarese said. “A team that wants to go far, we cannot make the mistakes we made today and it has to be a lot better. We have a game on Wednesday and we need to be ready. We fly in tonight, right away, and we now we have the chance to prepare for Wednesday which is going to be another difficult match.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Sebastian Blanco
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Roy Miller (right thigh injury), GK - Jake Gleeson (bilateral tibial stress fracture); QUESTIONABLE: GK - Jeff Attinella (hamstring injury), D - Alvas Powell (thigh injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-2-1, right to left)
GK: Steve Clark — Alvas Powell, Larrys Mabiala, Julio Cascante, Jorge Villafana — Diego Chara, David Guzman, Andy Polo — Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco — Samuel Armenteros

  • Notes: The Timbers have scored 12 headed goals so far this season, tied with three other teams for the most in the league. 29 percent of the Portland league goals have been headed so far this year, the highest such ratio in MLS 2018 by 6 percent. … After a franchise-best 15-game unbeaten run, Portland have now lost five of their last eight league games (2W-1D) and been outscored 15-8 along that run.

Columbus Crew SC

Columbus (12-8-8) returned from a 14-day break to draw FC Dallas, 0-0, on the road Saturday night.

Federico Higuain tested Jesse Gonzalez in the 26th minute, but his attempt was parried away. Zack Steffen did the same seven minutes later to deny Santiago Mosquera’s free kick. Gyasi Zardes and Niko Hansen had late chances, but the game ended scoreless.

“I think in the first half we performed really well. Moving the ball well, creating a number of opportunities. Maybe a little too hasty trying to finish the attacks. We could have set them up a little better,” Gregg Berhalter said. “Second half, I think our level dropped, we got a little fatigued. We gave Dallas a little bit more control of the game, and in the end, I think, it's a positive point and the guys had to work really hard so I'm really proud of the effort.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Artur, M - Federico Higuain
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: None

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Zack Steffen — Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Lalas Abubakar, Milton Valenzuela — Wil Trapp, Artur — Pedro Santos, Federico Higuain, Justin Meram — Gyasi Zardes

  • Notes: Zardes averages 45.1 touches per goal so far this season, the sixth-lowest average amongst the 43 MLS players who have scored at least eight goals so far this season. … Columbus have won five of their last 15 league games (5L-5D). Crew SC have only managed three clean sheets in that run, including during the 0-0 draw with FC Dallas last weekend.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Portland Timbers 3 wins, 10 goals … Columbus Crew SC 3 wins, 10 goals … 2 draws
  • At Portland: Timbers 2 wins, 6 goals … Crew SC 0 wins, 4 goals … 2 draws
  • Last meeting at Portland: Portland Timbers 2, Columbus Crew SC 1 (March 6, 2016)


Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Frank Andeson, Eduardo Mariscal
4th Official: Sorin Stoica
VAR: Armando Villarreal

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Season Stats

Portland TimbersColumbus Crew SC
28Games Played28
40Goals Conceded34
140Shots on Target116
301Fouls committed305
312Fouls suffered282

Goals Scored


Goals Conceded

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