Timbers-Rapids Preview

National Sports

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese is still seething after a poor performance against the Vancouver Whitecaps as his side prepares to face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

The Timbers are sitting comfortably in fourth place despite consecutive last-gasp defeats against the LA Galaxy and the Caps.

The latter performance in particular left Savarese fuming after seeing his side throw away a two-goal lead and lose consecutive games for the first time since July.

“We had the game in our hands, the way we played in the first half,” Savarese said of the Vancouver game. “We found a way to give the game back to them. “For a game like this, at home, not to be able to capitalize and take care of business as a team, and still now trying to fight to get the points we need to qualify (for the playoffs), it’s not good enough.”

The Rapids were held to a 1-1 draw by the high-flying Seattle Sounders last time out as they edge towards a playoff spot.

The Burgundy Boys, who hold a six-point advantage over Portland, have not made back-to-back playoffs since 2010 and 2011, but head coach Robin Fraser was left disappointed after the Seattle game due to a contentious VAR decision.

“I was really proud of our guys, I thought we were very disciplined in how we went about it,” Fraser said. “I would say Seattle is very disciplined in the way they approached us as well.give Seattle all the credit in the world. They’re a very, very good team. But the goal is one that is going to cause some debate around here.

“We love VAR for all of the calls that they get right, but it’s disappointing when you feel like with all of that help that the calls still aren’t right. So it’s a little bit disappointing to drop the game, but like I said it was a really, well-played game between two pretty well organized teams.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Colorado Rapids – Dominique Badji

Badji scored his second goal in his first start since rejoining the team in July, though that did not prove to be enough against the Sounders.

Portland Timbers – Yimmi Chara

With his goal and assist against the Caps, midfielder Chara has tallied three scores in his last five games. He also has two assists in this stretch.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– Colorado is unbeaten in four straight matches against Portland for the first time, though three of the four matches have ended in draws (W1). The Rapids’ 1-0 win in Portland in November 2020 is their only victory over the Timbers in the last seven meetings dating back to 2017 (D3 L3).

– The Rapids are unbeaten in their last 14 home games (W7 D7 L0) with their lone home loss coming in their home opener back in April. It is the third-longest home unbeaten streak in team history.

– The Timbers lost, 3-2, at home against Vancouver after leading 2-0 on Wednesday. It was the first time Portland has lost a home MLS match when leading by two or more goals, having gone unbeaten the previous 60 times they had done so (W55, D5 L0, including playoffs).

– Jack Price has 12 assists for the season, which is third-most in MLS. The last Rapids player to have more than 12 assists in a single season was Carlos Valderrama, who had 16 assists for Colorado in 2002.

– Dairon Asprilla scored his ninth goal of the season in Portland’s 3-2 defeat to Vancouver on Wednesday. Prior to this year, Asprilla had scored seven total goals in 95 regular season games for the Timbers.

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