Austin FC will host the Portland Timbers this Saturday as the Verde & Black will be looking for a repeat of what happened the last time the Timbers came to town. On July 1, Austin defeated Portland 4-1 in an unforgettable night at Q2 Stadium, the first home win in Club history.
Portland currently sit in seventh place in the Western Conference -- the last spot in the MLS Cup Playoff field -- and Austin will be hoping to cut into the Timbers’ eight-point advantage.
Austin FC Outlook
ATXFC is coming off a tough loss at home on Wednesday night to Vancouver Whitecaps FC and will look to rebound with another match at home in front of a raucous crowd.
The Verde & Black took the lead late in the first half thanks to an Alex Ring header, but Vancouver bounced back in the second half -- scoring two goals to beat Austin 2-1.
Nick Lima returned to the starting XI for the first time since suffering an injury in late June and Sebastián Driussi got into the box score with an assist on Ring’s goal. Brad Stuver again came up big, recording six saves in all.
The first time Portland visited Q2 Stadium, ATXFC dropped four goals on the Timbers defense as Jon Gallagher, Diego Fagundez, Ring and Hector Jimenez all got on the scoresheet.
Saturday night’s match will be the second of a three-match homestand, with FC Dallas visiting Austin for the first time next weekend. The Verde & Black are hoping that being in front of its own fans will help push them towards the playoffs.
Despite an up-and-down season so far, the Timbers are currently sitting above the playoff line. That is despite the fact that Portland has conceded the second-most goals in MLS.
Giovanni Savarese’s team was coming off perhaps its worst performance of the season on Wednesday -- after losing 6-2 to the Seattle Sounders at home on Sunday -- when they traveled to the Midwest to face Sporting Kansas City.
After taking an early lead courtesy of Felipe Mora, Portland held on to the lead all the way until the final minutes, when Daniel Salloi continued his campaign for Landon Donovan MLS MVP by scoring an equalizer. The Timbers came away with a point.
Savarese rested many of his starters in Kansas City -- as Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco and Yimmi Chara all started on the bench. They should be well rested for Saturday’s match.
Probable Portland Lineup
- GK: Steve Clark; Pablo Bonilla, Larrys Mabiala, Bill Tuiloma, Claudio Bravo; Diego Chara, Cristhian Paredes; Sebastian Blanco, Diego Valeri, Yimmi Chara; Felipe Mora
TICKETS: Austin FC vs. Portland Timbers
Austin FC are back at Q2 Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 21 to take on Portland Timbers.