Next up is the Western conference matchup between Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers. On the face of it, this one looks pretty cut and dry in all honesty, but you never know.
Last season saw the Colorado Rapids finish eleventh in the Western conference in what was a pretty poor showing. On the flip side, Portland Timbers finished fifth in the West but managed to get all the way through the Play-offs to the MLS Cup final. As I’m sure we’re all aware by this point, they lost that game 2-0 to Atlanta United but MLS Cup runners up is not to be sniffed at.
In terms of previous matchups, these two faced each other twice last season with the Timbers taking all three points on both occasions – 2-0 and 3-2 wins for Giovanni Savarese’s men. Colorado have only managed to pick up one win in the last nine fixtures between the two sides, that win came back in October 2016 when they won 1-0 on their own patch.
Portland played six games in pre-season this year winning four of them, drawing one and losing one. Their one loss came at the hand of Phoenix Rising and the draw was with the Red Bulls – The most notable of the four wins was their 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders. Colorado played seven pre-season games winning five of them and losing the other two. The losses came at the hands of Cincinnati and Toronto FC with notable wins coming against Las Vegas Lights and LA Galaxy.
It looks like Colorado will be without Tommy Smith for this one with Kortne Ford also said to be a doubt. Portland seemingly have a fully fit squad with no injury concerns being reported as of yet. However, the team will look a little different with the likes of Liam Ridgewell, Jack Barmby, and Jake Gleeson no longer at the club.
Prediction: As I said earlier, this one looks pretty straightforward to me. I’m gonna go for a 2-0 away win I think.