Preview: Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers

Two teams struggling towards the bottom of the Western Conference in the MLS will lock horns on Tuesday, with Colorado Rapids welcoming Portland Timbers to DSG Park.

The home side are rock bottom of the table on 14 points from 20 games, while Portland occupy 12th position, picking up 22 points from their opening 21 matches of the campaign.

Match preview

Colorado Rapids head coach Robin Fraser looks on on June 24, 2023

Colorado, who finished 10th in the Western Conference last season, have struggled during the 2023 campaign, boasting a record of two wins, eight draws and 10 defeats from their 20 matches.

A total of 14 points has left Rapids bottom of the table, two points behind 13th-placed Los Angeles Galaxy and eight behind their opponents on Tuesday, who sit 12th in the division.

Robin Fraser’s side will enter this match off the back of a 2-0 defeat to division leaders St Louis City on Saturday, which stretched their winless run in all competitions to 10 matches.

Colorado have not been victorious in the MLS since a 3-1 success at LA Galaxy in the early stages of May, picking up just two points since then, which is an indication of their struggles.

Rapids are also the only MLS side yet to win a home match this season, although they have managed to avoid defeat in five of their nine games in front of their own supporters.

Portland Timbers forward Franck Boli (7) celebrates with midfielder Cristhian Paredes (22) after scoring a goal on June 21, 2023

Portland, meanwhile, will enter the contest off the back of a 4-1 loss to Minnesota United, which left them on 22 points from 21 matches, which is only enough for 12th position in the table.

Giovanni Savarese’s side are now winless in their last four matches, picking up just two points since recording a 1-0 victory over Dallas in the middle of June.

Portland have found it difficult to pick up positive results on their travels this season, winning just one of their 11 matches away from their own stadium.

The Timbers finished eighth in the Western Conference last season, only narrowly missing out on the playoffs, but they could find it difficult to secure a playoff spot in 2023.

Portland have faced Colorado on 28 occasions and narrowly lead the head-to-head record, recording 12 victories to Colorado’s 10, while there have also been six draws.

Team News

Colorado Rapids forward Michael Barrios (12) celebrates with midfielder Sam Nicholson (28) after scoring a goal on May 9, 2023

Colorado will be missing four players through injury for this match, with Max Alves, Diego Rubio, Alex Gersbach and Jack Price on the sidelines.

Head coach Fraser will have been pleased with aspects of his side’s performance against the leaders St Louis last time out, so it would not be a surprise to see close to the same starting XI for this contest.

Jonathan Lewis is the team’s leading goalscorer this season with four, and the 26-year-old should feature in the final third of the field, while there will also be another start for three-goal Michael Barrios.

Portland, meanwhile, will be without the services of Hunter Sulte, Sebastian Blanco, Dairon Asprilla, David Ayala and Eryk Williamson on the sidelines through injury.

However, the visitors will be boosted by the return of Evander from suspension, with the midfielder serving his ban in the loss to Minnesota.

Evander and Franck Boli are the team’s joint-leading goalscorers this season with five each, and the pair should both be in the starting side for Tuesday’s contest.

Colorado Rapids possible starting lineup:
Yarbrough; Rosenberry, Maxso, Wilson, Beitashour; Lewis, Ronan, Leyva, Nicholson; Barrios, Cabral

Portland Timbers possible starting lineup:
Ivacic; Miller, Mabiala, Zuparic, Bravo; Moreno, Evander, Chara, Loria; Boli, Niezgoda

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