The Portland Timbers come into Toyota Park on a downfall from a once mighty rise. Portland's victory over the Fire back in April launched the Timbers' 5 game home winning streak that prompted JELD-WEN Field to be called a fortress. Between April 1st and May 21st, Portland went 5-1-2 and even took a draw from Seattle on the road. It looked like the Timber's would replicate their arch-rivals expansion success and compete for a playoff spot. All that has vanished as the Northwest club enters the game with the season slipping away after losing 6 of their last 7 games. The only non-loss in that span was a 3-3 draw against the New York Red Bulls on June 19th. Kenny Cooper who looked so great against Chicago when the teams last faced off is now rumored to be on the trading block due to poor performance. Portland had a dagger to the heart last week when the Sounders came into JEN-WELD Field and came back twice with 2 goals in the last 16 minutes of play to walk away with a victory.
More on Chicago, the game, and in-game comments after the break.
Chicago enters the game on a bit of a resurgence. This Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup game came with high drama as the start time had to be shifted up to 5:00 PM due to a power failure in Bridgeview. The Fire roundly defeated the Red Bulls 4-0. New York sent a B team to play but a win is a win. The atmosphere at Toyota Park this Tuesday was electric despite the lack of power and it marked the second U.S. Open Cup victory for Chicago in as may weeks. The overall roster was bolstered by the addition of Argentinian Sebastian Grazzini on Wednesday. Grazzini certainly won't start and might not even sub in but the fresh blood will keep players on their toes and has the fan base excited.
Both teams enter the game with 18 points and badly need a win. I think Chicago has the edge in good vibrations and I'd be shocked if the club let's themselves become Portland's first road victory. Never say never as their no anger like losing to our arch-rival anger. In a battle of emotions, Chicago 3 - Portland 1. This could be the breakout game Chicago has been looking for.