Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers and Columbus Crew, a pair
of Major League Soccer squads struggling through the opening two months of the
season, meet Saturday night at Jeld-Wen Field.
Portland is last in the Western Conference on seven points and Columbus - also
on seven points - has stayed off the bottom of the Eastern Conference only due
to the fact Toronto FC has lost all seven games.
The Timbers (2-5-1) have accumulated six of their points at home, including a
win over Sporting Kansas City. But after that win, Portland returned to the
loss column last week.
The expansion Montreal Impact defeated Portland last week in Canada, as a pair
of late goals fueled a 2-0 win. The Timbers have allowed six goals in the last
quarter-hour of games this season, the most in MLS.
"I think consistency has been an issue for us on the road," Portland boss John
Spencer said. "We came out ... against Kansas City, at home, we were winning
second balls and had a great game."
With the comfort of Jeld-Wen, one of the best atmospheres in MLS, Portland can
try to add to its home wins over Sporting and the Philadelphia Union.
Its situation in goal remains uncertain, though, as Troy Perkins suffered cuts
to his nose after he was spiked by Montreal's Sanna Nyassi last week.
Columbus (2-4-1) visits with one of its wins on the road, but it is winless in
four straight after a 1-0 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC last week at home.
Despite the result last week, Crew midfielder Milovan Mirosevic felt the squad
played well, and just needed a little luck - something it will hope for on the
road this week.
"It was our best game during the season," Mirosevic said. "Incredibly we lose
it. Of course, we're frustrated.
"I felt we had the ball the whole time. Football is like this. They had only
one chance, if you can call it a chance. It was a bit of luck."
The Sports Network