MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, May 20, 2012
(All times Eastern)
Chicago (4-2-3) at Portland (2-5-3), 7 p.m.
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers will need to continue
their strong defensive play on Sunday if they wish to pick up some much-needed
points as the club will look to slow down a surging Chicago Fire side at Jeld-
Portland has conceded just two goals in its last four league games, keeping
three clean sheets over that stretch. The Timbers are coming off of back-to-
back scoreless draws against the Columbus Crew and at the Houston Dynamo.
"It's a feather in the hat for the guys in the back to keep a clean sheet on
the road," said Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins. "But to come here like that
and at least walk away with the point and a shutout is a moral victory for the
guys in the back."
Perkins has not surrendered a goal since Portland's 3-1 loss to the Los
Angeles Galaxy on April 14.
"We're organized," Perkins said. "Guys are talking a lot. They're
understanding the philosophy we're trying to get here. They're putting
everything they've got on the line."
The Timbers will need to contain a Chicago team that is unbeaten in its last
three games. The Fire are coming off a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City at
Toyota Park, a result that knocked the visitors out of first place in the
"Obviously, it is a very good feeling that we beat a team like this." said
Fire head coach Frank Klopas. "They're first place in the Eastern Conference.
It gives a lot of confidence to the players, knowing that the work that you
put in during the training and the effort that you put in during games gives
results. You get confidence from it, but in the end, you have to stay at an
"We have to enjoy this moment, but regroup and get ready for the next match in
Chicago is led by standout striker Dominic Oduro and his four goals this
season. If Patrick Nyarko and Sebastian Grazzini can provide Oduro with
quality service in behind the Portland defense, the speedy striker may put an
end to Perkins' good run of form.
05/19 22:54:42 ET