Portland was promoted to MLS in 2011, and in seven seasons, the San Jose Earthquakes have never won a regular season MLS game at Providence Park. Hopefully that changes tonight.
Due to international call-ups, neither team will be fielding a full squad. That said, it could be the Quakes’ opportunity to steal three at PTFC.
Projected Timbers Lineup
The Timbers will be without Darlington Nagbe and David Guzman due to World Cup qualifiers next week. That said, expect the same lineup that Portland fielded in San Jose with a few changes: Gleeson in goal, Valentin in for Powell at right-back, and Diego Valeri in place of the absent Nagbe as the central attacking mid. Miller, Ridgewell, and Andriuskevicius on the backline. Asprilla and Olum could start at defensive mids, with Mattocks, Valeri, and Blanco setting up the attack for forward Fanendo Adi.
Projected Quakes Lineup
The Quakes are missing two players as well: Marco Urena and Anibal Godoy. Expect Lima and Cato to start as the fullbacks, with Flo and Muma starting as the center-backs. Tommy Thompson should get the start for Godoy, with Hyka, Dawkins, and Ceren in as midfielders. With Urena out, Hoesen should see time with Wondo on the attack.
It should be noted that Cato was also called up for national team duty with Trinidad and Tobego, but his absence on the MLS website mean he could be in the XI tonight. If he’s not available, the Quakes don’t have a lot of options at fullback with Colvey and Francis also potentially called up, so the Quakes could play the Chelsea 3-4 with just Flo, Victor, and Lima on the backline and Fatai on as an extra midfielder.
Projected Final Score
The Quakes have several things going against them heading into this match. Their historical march of impotence in Portland (zero regular season wins since 2011), and their recent history of not winning the Friday Night/Univision games this season. If history is any indicator, the Quakes lose 2-1.
However, both teams are missing key pieces of their team, so the chemistry may be off for both. On my latest podcast, I predicted the Quakes would finally pickup a win in Portland to the tune of 2-1. They won in Minnesota against an ascending Loons squad, and won in Frisco to hand FC Dallas their first defeat of the year. Sooner or later, the Quakes are gonna take that little blue pill and rise to the occasion in Portland, and I think they exorcise those demons tonight. The defense manages to limit Adi to one goal, and the Quakes score two of their own. 2-1 Quakes.