The Quakes take on the Portland Timbers today at Avaya. Here’s a match preview of what to expect.
Last season the teams played twice. The Quakes gave up a stoppage time goal to Jack Jewsbury to lose 1-0 in Portland. The rematch at Avaya was a 0-0 draw. Expect more of the same.
The defenses for Portland and the Quakes are probably the top two in the league. Last season, both teams were tied with overall goals conceded at 39, which tied them for third-best in MLS. Last week the Quakes shut-out Colorado 1-0 (the Rapids just beat the Galaxy 1-0, so keep your eye on them) and Portland surrendered one goal to the Crew. I would expect another low-scoring game this week, especially with rain the forecast.
There are a lot of variables with players coming back from injuries/suspensions. Matias Perez Garcia is no longer on suspension, Innocent seems to be match fit, Fatai Alashe could also play, even start. Shaun Francis is out with an injury. If Fatai and Innocent can play/start, I would expect Dom to use the flat 4-4-2 with Fatai and Godoy as defensive mids, Simon on the right with Innocent on the left, Wondo and Quincy up top. I would also expect Colvey to get his second start in place of Francis. If Fatai can’t start, expect a 4-3-3 set up with Dawkins as the central-attacking midfielder setting up Quincy and Wondo, Shea on the left wing and Cato/MPG on the right wing, and Godoy as the lone defensive mid.
Portland will probably run their 4-3-3 as well, with midfielders Chara, Nagbe, and Valeri setting up the attack for Adi up top.
Final Score Prediction
1-1 draw, with goals by Goodson on a set-piece corner (yep, a defender will score for us) and Nagbe testing the rookie Colvey in his first MLS start.