MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, May 25, 2013
(All times Eastern)
Portland (4-1-7) at D.C. United (1-8-2), 7 p.m.
Washington, D.C. (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers and D.C. United are
two teams at complete opposite ends of the spectrum.
The two sides will meet at RFK Stadium on Saturday, and while Portland will
hope to extend its unbeaten run to 11 games, D.C. will be out to claim its
first win since March 9.
United last tasted victory with a 1-0 home defeat of Real Salt Lake, but the
club followed the result with a nine-game winless run, seven matches of which
have ended in defeat.
D.C. managed to put a stop to a club-record seven-game losing streak last time
out, earning a 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City.
"There's a lot to work on. I'm not sugar-coating this tie, but it beats
losing," United head coach Ben Olsen said after last weekend's match at SKC.
"I think there's a little bit of an exhale (in the locker room), if I'm
completely honest with you. It's not easy to lose this many games and not have
doubt. I think this gives them a chance to exhale and maybe smile for a day or
two and understand that here's an opportunity to really change things next
weekend against Portland."
The Timbers, by comparison, cannot keep themselves from picking up points.
They are the only team in the league with one defeat in the loss column.
But while Portland has managed to avoid defeat all but once this season, they
still come into the weekend third in the Western Conference on 19 points, five
points back of first-place FC Dallas.
The main reason for Portland's position in the table has been its penchant for
settling for draws. Out of their 12 matches, the Timbers enter the weekend
with an MLS-high seven draws this season.
Portland, coming off of a 2-2 tie at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, appears to be
content with draws, though.
"The reality is it's tough to go on the road in this league and get a result
so it's a good feeling but we know we've got another tough test the next
couple of weeks so we've got three in a row on the road now and next up is
D.C. and we look to go there and pick up three points," said Jack Jewsbury.
The Timbers have shown that they can handle adversity with great aplomb. They
head to RFK Stadium with the league's only remaining unbeaten road record in
"This team just seems to have that never quit, refuse to lose [attitude],"
said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. "And you hope you can kind of harness it
in a team and some teams just never have it, but this team has it. We've seen
that, and it's not just the first game we've shown that, but in several games
our backs are against the wall and we somehow find a way to get a result."
05/24 13:45:48 ET