The Philadelphia Union travel to Portland, Oregon tonight to take on the expansion Timbers. On the road this year, Portland has looked like an expansion team going 0-3-1, but at home it's been an entirely different story. The Timbers are 3-0 at home, including their most recent impressive 1-0win over defending MLS champions Real Salt Lake.
They did however suffer their first loss at JELD-WEN stadium earlier this week, when they were knocked out of the US Open Cup by the San Jose Earthquakes.
The Timbers have quickly gained a reputation for their raucous home crowds and crazy game time atmosphere, much like Union with the Sons of Ben you'll see smoke and flags waving.. although PPL Park does not feature a guy with a giant chainsaw cutting wood on the sidelines...
As is the case with many expansion teams, including the Union last year, the Timbers are shaky at the back. They've already conceded 13 goals in seven MLS matches. The Union however, have allowed just two goals in six games. Portland's Jack Jewsbury recognizes the defensive puzzle that Piotr Nowak's squad presents.
"They’re very organized," Jewsbury said. "They get numbers behind the ball, so it’s going to be an exercise in breaking down a lot of pressure. It’ll be a good challenge for us."
The game will be live tonight on Fox Soccer Channel at 10:30 with JP Dellacamera and Kyle Martino, veterans of the Union's broadcast booth, calling the game.
Check out the preview over at The Brotherly Game