The Portland Timbers get set to play the San Jose Earthquakes at Providence Park in Portland this evening (8 p.m. PDT, TV ESPN 2, radio on 750 The Game, Spanish radio La GranD 1150 AM). Can Portland bounce back from their U.S. Open Cup loss to Real Salt Lake earlier this week?

Here are match predictions from The Oregonian’s reporters Jamie Goldberg and Molly Blue along with community bloggers Kip Kesgard, Rick Curwen and Jennifer Kesgard. What’s your prediction for this match? Vote in our poll and add your thoughts in the comments below.

Jamie Goldberg: Timbers 3, Earthquakes 1. The Portland Timbers should have a well-rested lineup after resting some key starters during Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup match against Real Salt Lake. San Jose has been an up and down team this year, but when they’ve done well, it has really been on the back of Chris Wondolowski. Wondolowski is currently away with the U.S. National Team and won’t be available for Sunday’s game. The Timbers have won five of their last six MLS games and have played very well, for the most part, over the last month. The Timbers are at home and this is a game they can win if they continue to play well.

Kip Kesgard & Jennifer Kesgard: Timbers 2, Earthquakes 0. I am handling joint duty again with Jennifer just back from Vegas and I’m looking for Portland Timbers 2, San Jose Earthquakes 0. The Open Cup dreams have crashed down midweek with the loss to Real Salt Lake, so the Timbers will need to turn their attention to the MLS playoffs or the Cascadia Cup to have any chance at hardware this season. After their resounding victory over the Flounders last Sunday, it’s hard not to imagine a group with more confidence going for it despite the loss to RSL. Most of the regular players will be ready and raring to go – Alvas Powell will still be about for one more day before leaving for Jamaica at last report although he didn’t play in the USOC match – and the fearsome foursome of Darlington Nagbe, Diego Valeri, Gaston Fernandez and Fanendo Adi will have Rodney Wallace, Dairon Asprilla and Maximiliano Urruti all available as well. Depending upon the style or pace of play – and the conditions should be slightly better with the delayed kick time of 8 PM on Sunday – Portland should be able to dictate the tempo. San Jose will be without Chris Wondolowski, who is off with the USMNT, but they still have enough weapons that the Timbers can’t overlook them. 

Molly Blue: Timbers 3, Earthquakes 0. The Portland Timbers are out of the U.S. Open Cup after losing 2-0 at Real Salt Lake last week. The Timbers hate to lose, that’s true, but to my way of thinking, being out of that tournament just means there’s more focus on Major League Soccer, working up the table and into the playoffs. Portland players and coach Caleb Porter were able to shake off the 5-0 loss at the Los Angeles Galaxy with a 4-1 win at home against the Seattle Sounders. I think the 2-0 loss at RSL won’t resonate as they take on the Earthquakes at Providence Park. Porter has been able to plug and play guys with a confidence that’s been contagious in this stretch of the season, so as he sets up the system and selection for this match he can do a lot of different things, which makes it that much harder for opponents to prepare.

Rick Curwen: Timbers 2, Earthquakes 1. The Timbers should be back to full strength as they return to Providence Park to face San Jose Earthquakes following their 0-2 U.S. Open Cup defeat against Real Salt Lake last Wednesday evening. The Earthquakes recent form has been impressive with wins over Seattle Sounders (Away: 2-0) and LA Galaxy (Home: 3-1) but they will be without , Sanna Nyassi (suspended – yellow card accumulation), Chris Wondolowski (International duty), and possibly Cordell Cato (International duty) for this match. I predict goals from Nagbe and Fernandez will get the 3 points for the Timbers.

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