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MLS Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, May 5, 2012 (All times Eastern)

Columbus (2-4-1) at Portland (2-5-1), 10:30 p.m.

Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers and Columbus Crew, a pair of Major League Soccer squads struggling through the opening two months of the season, meet Saturday night at Jeld-Wen Field.

Portland is last in the Western Conference on seven points and Columbus - also on seven points - has stayed off the bottom of the Eastern Conference only due to the fact Toronto FC has lost all seven games.

The Timbers (2-5-1) have accumulated six of their points at home, including a win over Sporting Kansas City. But after that win, Portland returned to the loss column last week.

The expansion Montreal Impact defeated Portland last week in Canada, as a pair of late goals fueled a 2-0 win. The Timbers have allowed six goals in the last quarter-hour of games this season, the most in MLS.

"I think consistency has been an issue for us on the road," Portland boss John Spencer said. "We came out ... against Kansas City, at home, we were winning second balls and had a great game."

With the comfort of Jeld-Wen, one of the best atmospheres in MLS, Portland can try to add to its home wins over Sporting and the Philadelphia Union.

Its situation in goal remains uncertain, though, as Troy Perkins suffered cuts to his nose after he was spiked by Montreal's Sanna Nyassi last week.

Columbus (2-4-1) visits with one of its wins on the road, but it is winless in four straight after a 1-0 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC last week at home.

Despite the result last week, Crew midfielder Milovan Mirosevic felt the squad played well, and just needed a little luck - something it will hope for on the road this week.

"It was our best game during the season," Mirosevic said. "Incredibly we lose it. Of course, we're frustrated.

"I felt we had the ball the whole time. Football is like this. They had only one chance, if you can call it a chance. It was a bit of luck."

05/04 17:48:16 ET

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