Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting Portland Timbers

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Portland comes into Wednesday's match as winners of three out of their last four matches.

Finally. FC Dallas snapped an eight-game winless streak Saturday, topping Colorado Rapids 3-2 Saturday. However, does FCD have enough power to carry the momentum into Portland?

Portland welcomes the Hoops to Providence Park after taking a 3-1 victory against Real Salt Lake, the Timbers' first win over RSL in the teams' past 12 meetings.

Injury Report

Questionable: D Norberto Paparatto (concussion), D Michael Harrington (L ankle sprain), M Rodney Wallace (L ACL surgery), M Ben Zemanski (concussion)

Projected Lineup

Portland could step on to the field in a 4-3-3 formation, but manager Caleb Porter has had some success playing his men in the 4-2-3-1 style.

GK: Donovan Ricketts, RB: Jack Jewsbury, CB: Rauwshan McKenzie, Pa Modou Kah, LB: Jorge Villafana, RDM: Diego Chara, LDM: Will Johnson, RM: Darlington Nagbe, CM: Diego Valeri, LM: Gastón Fernández, F: Fanendo Adi

Key Matchup

FCD centerbacks vs. Maximilliano Urruti. After Walker Zimmerman and Matt Hedges walked away early Saturday's match against the Rapids with hamstring injuries, it'll be interesting to see who in the backline will step up to close down the fiery Argentine striker. Last meeting, Urruti took a touch right outside the eighteen that took a deflection in Timbers' favor to break the shutout in FCD's 2-1 win on March 29. The forward is dangerous and can easily score without the help of a deflection, though.


Keys to Three Points

Limit opposition's set pieces. We saw Jose Mari dive in for an equalizer off Dillon Powers' corner kick last week at Toyota Stadium while in Utah, Portland made the most of two corner kicks for two goals. Let's save us the trouble and not allow the Timbers to get looks from the corners.

Feed Fabian Castillo. Castillo has been playing marvelous and after an exciting game-winner over Colorado, he is looking to keep that momentum rolling in FCD's last game before the two-week break. Good things happen when the ball is at his feet; send him wide.

Attain possession. Sure, we picked up the three points Saturday, but it's sad to see FCD lose the possession battle 59.5 percent to 40.5. That's 19.5 percent possession in favor of Colorado. The most important player on the field is the player with the ball because he is the only one at the time that can score. Get control of the ball and make the most of it.

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