Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.
Austin FC will try to move away from the end of the Western Conference when greeting Portland Timbers on Saturday in the Q2 stadium.
The hosts are in terrible shape but the guests are not doing much better trying to keep their place in the playoffs.
Prediction for this match
Austin finally managed to score after two gaps in their previous games on Wednesday, but it ultimately went nothing when they lost to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The game represented their best chance of breaking their terrible streak of results as they took a place above them at home and as captain Alex Ring led the expansion team into the lead towards the end of the first half, it looked like they could do just that.
In the second half, however, everything unraveled again. Vancouver leveled early on and after a corner Jon Gallagher and Tomas Pochettino had spurned chances to restore the lead, which Verde & Schwarz were caught with during the break Brian White able to finish in an empty net to seal a 2-1 win.
With that result, there are seven defeats in the last eight games and home advantage could not help them in this game as their poor form also means disappointing home form, with five of those seven defeats actually being recorded on their own turf.
Portland’s form, while not up to par with its opponents, is also not particularly pleasant to read, with only one win in the last six MLS games.
That run includes a sobering 6-2 home dismantling by the Seattle Sounders last weekend, but the Timbers made an impressive recovery when they traveled to Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday.
Kansas went in as the front runner in the Western Conference, but it was the guests who thanks Felipe MoraGoal after 17 minutes.
Diego Valeri could have sealed the win with a one-on-one deep into the second half and was then punished for his miss when Sporting achieved the equalizer Daniel Salloi in the 92nd minute.
Portland might have received a 1-1 draw before the game, however, and it will instill some confidence in the team ahead of a very victorious game.
See all team news
Austin was relieved that the latest engagement Sebastian Driussi was able to start against the Caps after limping in the previous game and is likely to take the lead again after being assisted on his first real appearance for the team.
Cecilio Dominguez was relieved after half an hour; the Paraguayan appeared to be absent from injury despite being knocked out of the starting XI in a recent game due to persistent illness which may have played a role.
There are still many absent – like for example Aaron Schönfeld, Ben Sweat and Danny Hoesen – but central defender Julio Cascante will be able to return after serving his suspension on a red card game.
The Timbers are also without a player; Jeff Attinella and Andy Polo are canceled for the season after operations, and Eryk Williamson remains on the sidelines after testing positive for COVID-19 due to health and safety protocols.
goalkeeper Steve Clark however, returned in the game against Kansas after recovering from a right thigh injury.
Austin FC possible starting line-up:
Stuver; Lima, Besler, Cascante, Jiménez; Pereira, ring; Fagundez, Pochettino, Dominguez; Driussi
Portland Timbers Possible Starting Lineup:
Clark; Van Rankin, Tuiloma, Zuparic, Bravo; D. Chara, Paredes, Zambrano; Loria, Mora, Asprilla
Probability: Austin FC 1-1 Portland Timbers
Austin is a draw long overdue and this seems like the kind of game that offers one. Portland will have mixed feelings after the Kansas game, and while the Texans are struggling right now, they won the only clash between those teams 4-1.