D.C. United versus Portland Timbers staff and reader predictions – Black And Red United
D.C. United take on the Portland Timbers tonight, and there is dissension in the ranks about what will happen.
D.C. United is in Portland tonight for some #DCUAfterDark action against the Timbers. Our predictions are all over the place, so let us know what you think will happen tonight in the comments!
So if I understand it right and take things at face value, D.C. brought a patchwork squad of sorts up to Boston and that when it comes to this week’s Wednesday game will have more “healthy” players on hand. And when it comes to their opponents, the Portland Timbers seem to possess a mindset similar to the game last week against the Philadelphia Union, with at least one person saying that the season was on the brink during their Saturday loss to Toronto FC. They may be missing their dazzling midfielder Diego Valeri and their other midfielder Will Johnson will be playing his first senior team minutes since a season-ending injury last year. Match that lineup against D.C.’s and…it may not be pretty as far as offense goes. Think Portland squeaks out a 1-0 win.
Speedy Portland versus scrappy DC. I daresay that if our defense has a good night, we will take 3 points from Portland. We will squeeze out a goal in the second half. DC wins, 1-0.
Games where the host is on short-rest tend to be poorly-played affairs (see also: Saturday’s draw). That’s good for United, but you have to wonder how difficult it will be to capitalize given that Ben Olsen’s squad is the more injury-depleted group right now. Portland’s joy at the likely return of captain Will Johnson from last year’s broken leg will be tempered by Diego Valeri missing out with an ankle sprain picked up on the weekend, so it’s hard to say where they’ll be at mentally. This one’s tough to unravel for both teams, so I’m going with my gut: United starts unexpectedly well, Miguel Aguilar creates a goal for someone else, but the Timbers take control after halftime and get an equalizer through Fanendo Adi. From there the Black-and-Red hang on for dear life, and Bill Hamid helps preserve a 1-1 draw.
After a hard fought point, we have to go cross country to play on…more turf. Got it, thanks MLS. DC has been shorthanded and shortwinded with so many games over the past couple weeks. But, I think they pull a rabbit out of the hat Wednesday night in Portland. 1-0 United, goal by new guy Coria.
With so many games in such a short time, and with a squad battling injuries, I fear this game isn’t the one where United get back to winning ways. I’m expecting an ugly one in Portland, the kind of “why am I watching this” ugly only #dcuafterdark can bring. In the end, I think the Black-and-Red hold the Timbers at 0-0 for a while before the home side breaks through for the 1-0 win.
D.C. United has been one of only a very few teams in MLS this year not to have played in a scoreless draw. (Thanks for that, Mr. Pfeffer.) Everything about Wednesday’s matchup with the Timbers points to that changing. Since the re-absence of Fabian Espindola, Ben Olsen’s side have been unable to capture the same attacking form that saw them through the Argentine’s six-game suspension to open the season, but their defense remains as close to lights-out as any in recent league history. Meanwhile, Portland will be missing their own attacking lynchpin in Diego Valeri and have shown more Olsen-style pragmatism in recent weeks. Both sides keep their zeroes in the end as DC plays their first scoreless draw of 2015.
Cross country and mid week? That doesn’t sound like a good combination, and then you add in the fact that many of United’s starters are back home in the District. Give me a 1-0 loss for the Black-And-Red, and hopefully some healthy players soon.