MLS Preview and Prediction – Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers – Saturday, March 28
In a week where almost every team in the Major League Soccer has to deal with the absence of key players on international duty and others battling to come back from injuries, Vancouver and Portland, who face each other this Saturday, March 28 at BC Place are no exception to that, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that this game doesn’t have all the ingredients to be a very interesting contest.
The Portland Timbers have won six of the last eleven encounters between these two sides in the MLS.
Following a disappointing 3-1 loss at home against the Toronto FC on their season opener, the Vancouver Whitecaps bounced back with two straight wins on the road, first against the Chicago Fire and last weekend against newcomers Orlando City, and both by the same result:1-0. Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson will be putting his squad’s depth to the test here as several of the team’s starters are missing. With only one win in eleven Major League Soccer match-ups against Portland, and given all the contingencies the team is forced to deal with this weekend, Vancouver won’t have an easy task in trying to start turning that record around.
With a 0-0 draw at the Sporting Kansas City last weekend, the Portland Timbers now have three draws in as many games to start the 2015 season. Their defensive unit has been outstanding so far, but their offense, who had the second best scoring record in the league last season playing away from home (27 goals) only behind the Seattle Sounders (34 goals) is yet to leave its mark this season. And a team that isn’t able to turn draws into victories, no matter how good it is or how well it performs, will have a difficult time making it into the playoffs. And even though it is early in the season, the Timbers know how a poor start can be damaging to the club’s ambitions. With six wins in their last eleven MLS meetings with the Whitecaps, Portland will be hopeful they can, at least, keep their undefeated record alive as they travel to BC Place this Saturday.
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The match-up against the Portland Timbers is the first of three straight games that Vancouver plays at home, and after a poor result and performance in the season opener against Toronto, this is the perfect time to start collecting some victories and points, to solidify their position in the league table and to please the fans. The Whitecaps have scored in each game so far this season and, at home, they are particularly prolific, as they have failed to score in just 3 of their last 20 MLS games. At BC Place, Vancouver is yet to defeat the Timbers for the MLS, but considering the fact that they come from back-to-back wins and that Portland is yet to find ways to score goals on a consistent basis, the Whitecaps should grab the win this Saturday.
Our Prediction: Vancouver to Win
BetOnline Odds: +103