|Portland Timbers||Draw||New York Red Bulls|
The MLS game of the week sends us to the Pacific Northwest, where the Portland Timbers will look to stay above the Western Conference playoff line when they host the New York Red Bulls. The Red Bulls are also looking to stay above the playoff line in the East, so this is a match where both teams are desperate for a win to keep them in the hunt.
The Timbers currently are in seventh place in the Western Conference, but a win Wednesday would vault them into fourth. They lost Sunday to D.C. United in Portland, so they will want to rebound before a home match against Minnesota United on Sunday. Diego Valeri and Diego Chara are the two engines that keep Portland running, and Brian Fernandez and Sebastian Blanco will be called upon to create some offense, as well.
Diego Valeri has become the first player in the 44-year history of the Timbers to have 15 assists in a single season. #RCTID
— Mike Donovan (@TheMikeDonovan) August 15, 2019
The Timbers have been shaky on defense lately, and they’ll need to tighten that up against New York. If Portland can shore up the defense, it should be able to generate the momentum behind the home crowd.
New York Red Bulls
The Red Bulls sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. They lost on the road to Seattle Sunday and will want to grab points from the Pacific Northwest road trip before they head home to face the Philadelphia Union on Sunday. Daniel Royer has arguably been New York’s best player and will likely be one the Red Bulls rely on to spark the attack. For the Red Bulls to be victorious, they will have to get Kaku active, as they have been stellar when he gets going.
Pick: Portland Timbers -105
This match won’t be easy for the Timbers, but they can’t drop points at home this late in the season. Portland squeaks by with a 1-0 victory (+1175) to keep its playoff chances alive.