The Quakes take on the Portland Timbers tonight at Providence Park. It will be the third and final regular season meeting between the two clubs, as the Quakes won at home 2-1 on March 13th and lost 3-1 in Portland on April 16. The two will play a U.S. Open Cup match in Portland later this month.
The Quakes have yet to win in Portland, and will be missing the same four players that were missing against FC Dallas: Panamanian midfielders Anibal Godoy and Alberto Quintero, Jamaican midfielder Simon Dawkins, and forward/captain Chris Wondolowski. These four players are responsible for 13 of the Quakes’ 16 goals this season; don’t expect much offense.
The good is that the defense that shut out FC Dallas will be available in Portland: Bingham, Sarkodie, Wynne, Bernardez, and Francis. If the defense can pull together another lock-down performance, they may be able to steal a point in Portland.
Line Up Predictions
I’m guessing Imperiale will be back, which means putting Wynne back at right-back. I’m also guessing that Francis gets the start at left-back as playing on artificial turf (c’mon, Portland. Get with the times) won’t be good for Jordan Stewart’s Achilles recovery.
A glaring problem is Fanendo Adi. The dude is a beast which only Goodson seemed to be able to control in the first match. Without Goodson, I’m expecting Adi to score a goal, possibly two, as Imperiale is coming off injury and is probably still rusty, but better Andres than Marvell clogging up the middle of box.
I’m also expecting the same midfield formation that was used against FC Dallas, since we are lacking so many players: MPG, Tommy, Fatai, and Shea. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jahn get the start just so we have a big-man to contend with Adi on set-pieces. Quincy should get the other nod at forward.
The Quakes haven’t won in Portland in four years. They are missing huge pieces of their offense. What better time than tonight to steal a win? Tommy gets his first goal, Jahn gets the go-ahead, and Adi scores one against Imperiale: 2-1 Quakes.