Thu, 23 Sep 2021

Minnesota United in top form before hosting Timbers

Field Level Media
24 Jul 2021, 08:19 GMT+10

Minnesota United aim to follow up an epic victory when they host the Portland Timbers on Saturday night at Saint Paul, Minn.

Streaking Minnesota United are fresh off a 1-0 upset of the visiting Seattle Sounders last Sunday. The win ended Seattle's MLS record 13-match unbeaten streak to start a season and gives the Loons a 5-1-3 mark over their last nine matches.

So now the task is for Minnesota United (5-5-3, 18 points) to put forth another top-notch effort against the Timbers (6-6-1, 19 points).

"They've got a lot of weapons," Loons coach Adrian Heath said of the Timbers. "I know now that if we don't play well, if we don't play to the level that I know we need to play at, it's going to be a tough afternoon for us."

Minnesota defeated Portland earlier this season, blanking the host Timbers 1-0 on June 26.

Adrien Hunou scored in the second minute and then Minnesota packed it in defensively to protect the lead. Portland took 22 shots and placed only two on target.

The Timbers will seek to avenge that loss as they enter the match with a two-game winning streak.

Former league MVP Diego Valeri found the back of the net and Felipe Mora tallied in the third minute of stoppage time as Portland recorded a 2-1 victory over visiting Los Angeles FC on Wednesday.

The goal was just the second this season for the 35-year-old Valeri but that didn't limit the praise from Portland coach Giovanni Savarese.

"He's been a role model for this club, and he's given everything that he has to this organization on the field," Savarese said of Valeri, in his ninth season with the franchise. "So it's been a pleasure to be able to see him perform, and he's done some great things with the help also of his teammates. ... I think he's a quality player and he's done very, very well for this club."

Mora, Jeremy Ebobisse and Dairon Asprilla share the team lead of three goals for the Timbers, who will again be without Eryk Williamson (U.S. Gold Cup team) for the third straight match.

Robin Lod leads Minnesota with three goals. He scored in the 81st minute for the lone tally against Seattle.

--Field Level Media

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