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Oppo Research: 5 Things about Portland Timbers

This Portland side are doing just enough to keep in the playoff picture without instilling much confidence in the fans.

Portland Timbers striker Franck Boli | Courtesy Portland Timbers

Hudson River Blue spoke with Sam Svilar of Stumptown Footy, the former SB Nation that now lives on Substack, to learn more about the Portland Timbers, whose New York City FC face tomorrow for the first time since the 2021 MLS Cup Finals: Here is your NYCFC vs Portland preview. 

1.  When your house is not a home

Hudson River Blue: NYCFC travel to Portland for the first time since winning the 2021 MLS Cup — thank you for being such good hosts. This year, it looks like the Timbers run hot and cold: They dismantle the high-flying Seattle Sounders 4-1 and outfox FC Dallas 1-0, then they lose to lowly Chicago at home courtesy of AARP member Kei Kamara. What’s the mood in the stands at Providence Park these days? 

Sam Svilar: The mood is… not great! The Timbers have already lost as many home games in 2023 as they had all of last season — and there’s still eight home fixtures to go. This Timbers team has been rocked by injuries, and not enough of the rest of the roster has stepped up to vault the team into the “consistent contender” category. As you mentioned, that’s left them as a consistently inconsistent team that is capable of pulling it all together, but also falling flat on their faces (as they did on Wednesday night). After missing the playoffs for the first time under Giovanni Savarese last year, the lack of clear improvement from the team this year has left the fanbase anxious, frustrated, and antsy: a volatile combination for a fanbase as passionate as Portland’s.

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