Timbers host Union trying to extend long unbeaten streak
The Timbers will try to extend their league-best unbeaten streak to 15 games, and although the Union has never won in Portland, it enters Saturday's match at Providence Park looking for its third straight road win.
It has been almost three months since the Timbers (9-3-7) lost an MLS game. Their 3-2 defeat April 8 at Orlando left them 0-3-2 and in last place in the Western Conference.
Since then, Portland, which scored a dramatic 2-1 win over Houston on Saturday, has nine wins and five draws to climb to fourth place in the West. The Timbers trail second-place Los Angeles FC by two points.
"As I've said all along, the mentality is strong, the guys work very hard and the most important part is that in the matches they try to find ways we are in the game and that we can get points," Giovanni Savarese said, according to the MLS website. "At home, we always try the most that we can to get the three points, and the guys I thought performed very, very well, especially in the second half."
Fanendo Adi came off the bench to nail the game-winner in the 80th minute in his Providence Park finale. On Monday, it was announced that Adi was heading to FC Cincinnati as that franchise's first Major League Soccer Designated Player.
Cincinnati moves from the United Soccer League to MLS in 2019.
"In five seasons with the Timbers, Fanendo Adi made massive contributions to this club, and words cannot fully express how appreciative we are for everything he gave to the Timbers in his time with us," Portland general manager Gavin Wilkinson said in a prepared statement.
The Union (8-10-3) is in seventh place in the Eastern Conference after a 3-1 win at Houston on July 25. Philadelphia is one point behind fifth-place Montreal and sixth-place New England, who currently hold the final two playoff spots in the East.
The Union's back-to-back road wins equaled its total away from home over the previous 12 months.
Now Philadelphia will seek a third straight against an opponent that is undefeated at home in 2018 in MLS play.
"You come out to a stadium in Portland (that) rocks when everybody's in there," Union defender Mark McKenzie told the team's website. "It's a quality Portland opponent, so we've got to be focused, sharp in all aspects of our game. I'm confident in the group that we can get the win."
McKenzie's backfield mate Auston Trusty said his team needs to maintain the focus it has had over the past couple weeks.
"We have to keep the same mindset we've had on the road," Trusty said. "We're sick and tired of going out there and sometimes we don't get the result. We want to go out there and get the result we want. We have the ability to do it. We've had that mindset the past two games. We have to continue that."