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Game Day Hub: NYCFC vs Portland in the Bronx

It's the 2024 home opener! So what if New York City have never beaten Portland in the Bronx — or held them scoreless in any match, ever.

Feels good to be home |

Welcome to Matchday 3 of the 2024 season, which has New York City FC hosting the Portland Timbers at Yankee Soccer Stadium.

Both teams missed the playoffs last year. Two games into this season, NYCFC and Portland are at opposite ends of the table. New York City are winless and scoreless after two games on the road, and now sit dead last in the league. The Timbers played two games at home, a 4-1 spanking of the Colorado Rapids and a 2-2 draw with DC United, and currently sit in first place in the Western Conference.

Are Portland transformed under new head coach Phil Neville? NYCFC head coach Nick Cushing would bite his arm off for six goals in two games — the last time New York City pulled that off was in October 2023, during the MLS Cup Playoffs. Or are the Timbers more fragile than those numbers suggest? Remember, they were up 2-0 over DC United before giving up two late goals at home.

Game Day Essentials

• Matchday 3: New York City FC vs Portland Timbers

• Date and Time: Saturday, March 9, 2pm ET

• Venue: Yankee Soccer Stadium

• Forecast: Cold, rainy, miserable 38F/3C

• Watch: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV 

Apple Broadcast Team: Tony Husband and Ross Smith (English), Sergio Ruiz and Walter Roque (Español)

• Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio

• Officiating Crew: Esteban Rosano (referee), Fernando Pina and Diego Armando Parra (assistant referees), Lorant Varga (fourth official), AI Rebfbots (VAR and assistant VAR)

NYCFC vs Portland H2H

8 1 2 5 5 12 -7

The Timbers have dominated New York City over the years. NYCFC defeated Portland only once, way back in 2016. (The 2021 MLS Cup win was officially a draw.)

Not only have the Timbers racked up five wins, but they have scored every time they played New York City. That's right: NYCFC have never kept a clean sheet against Portland. And as for Portland, they blanked New York City four times.

But NYCFC have put up better performances in recent years. There was the penalty shootout win in the 2021 MLS Cup Final. And there was the gritty 1-1 draw last June, when Keaton Parks scored the equalizer in the second half to earn a point on the road.

New York City FC

  • Player Availability: Midfielder Maxi Moralez (ACL) is still recovering and remains unavailable. Defender Rio Hope-Gund (abdomen) and forward Talles Magno are also out. Midfielder James Sands is serving the first game of a two-game suspension after earning a straight red card last week.
  • Pregaming: The club is throwing an all-ages party at Billy's Sports Bar on under the elevated train tracks just a free kick away from Yankee Soccer Stadium. The FanFest will run from 11:30 am ET to 1:30 pm ET.
  • Those of you watching from the comfort of your soccer den can opt for the NYCFC Radio feed and listen to the sonorous voices of Glenn Crooks and Matt Lawrence (English), or Roberto Abramowitz and Ariel Judas (Español).

Portland Timbers

Predicted Portland Starting XI