Timbers-Revolution Preview

Timbers-Revolution Preview

Published Mar. 23, 2012 10:38 p.m. ET

The Portland Timbers are satisfied with their start to 2012.

A slew of injuries while still searching for their first goal have the New England Revolution feeling much different.

The Timbers look for another impressive performance on the road while adding to the Revolution's woes Saturday in the only meeting between the clubs this season.

Portland followed a 3-1 season-opening win over Philadelphia on March 12 with a 1-all draw at FC Dallas last Saturday.


Earning a point while visiting a Western Conference rival is a promising start for the Timbers, who were outscored 26-10 while going 2-9-6 away from JELD-WEN Field last year.

"It has been a good start to the season," coach John Spencer said. "We played two quality teams, and if our guys believe in themselves as much as me and my coaches do, we'll make it to the playoffs."

Not expected to be much of a factor in the playoff race, New England hasn't done much to change those expectations while being outscored 4-0 in dropping its first two games.

The Revolution's latest effort wasn't helped by a red card to midfielder Stephen McCarthy in the 15th minute, as they went on to lose 3-0 to Kansas City last Saturday. Due to a rash of injuries, McCarthy was being used in central defense.

"The game was over from there, from when the referee made that decision and gave that red card," said midfielder Shalrie Joseph, who may find himself starting in central defense after being moved there following McCarthy's dismissal.

The Revs will be without defenders Darrius Barnes (calf) and John Lozano (hip) again, while German Florian Lechner is still awaiting a visa after signing with the team last week.

Midfielder Benny Feilhaber is doubtful with a left peroneal strain.

"We have to address the center back situation, but when you're talking about our midfield, that's one area where we feel we have some depth," coach Jay Heaps said. "Obviously, Benny's a classy player and someone that we lean on, but we don't want to get him out there and get him more injured."

While New England is hoping to withstand those absences and score for the first time this season, each of the Timbers' four goals have come from different players with Darlington Nagbe finding the back of the net against Dallas.

"It's a problem that every coach wants to have," Spencer said. "You want all your forwards playing well and champing at the bit to get on the field and score goals."

Nagbe has come off the bench in both games after scoring twice as a rookie last year. One of those goals came in a 3-0 home win over the Revs.

Kris Boyd will be looking to capitalize on the Revolution's injured defense after coming up empty on two shots on goal last week. The Scottish international scored in his Portland debut against the Union.

These teams played to a 1-all tie at Gillette Stadium on April 2.