Timbers and Dynamo Making Some Noise in MLS
Group F was supposed to be all about El Trafico, the LAFC/LA Galaxy rivalry but apparently no one told the Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo. Both teams got results on Monday night and put themselves in position to advance as they go head-to-head in the second group game on Saturday. In fact Portland can wrap up a knockout stage spot with a win, if El Trafico ends in a draw.
Last season the Western Conference opponents met twice in the regular season with a 1-1 May draw in Houston and a 4-0 Portland home win in June. The teams split their two matches in 2018 with the home team taking three points in each game.
Portland Timbers FC Outlook: Charge Forward
The Portland Timbers had a fantastic start to the MLS is Back Tournament as they knocked off LA Galaxy 2-1 Monday night. Steve Clark saved a Chicharito penalty kick in the first half and Jeremy Ebobisse gave Portland a 1-0 lead in the 59th minute. Sebastian Blanco doubled the lead in the 66th minute and despite going down to 10-men, Portland withstood the late Galaxy barrage to secure the win.
Before the COVID break, Portland started the season with a 3-1 home loss to Minnesota United and a 1-0 home win over Nashville SC. Captain Diego Valeri scored both of those goals, one from the spot, and Andy Polo had an assist. Clark made four saves in the opening two games while the Timbers took six shots on goal.
In 2019 the Timbers racked up 49 points to finish sixth in the Western Conference but fell 2-1 to Real Salt Lake in their lone playoff game. Ebobisse and the now-departed Brian Fernandez led the team with 11 goals while Blanco led the team with 10 assists. Clark started 24 of 34 games and secured six clean sheets to go with 13 wins and five draws
Houston Dynamo Outlook: Charge for Europe
Monday’s group opener was a tale of two halves for Houston against group favorite LAFC. Memo Rodriguez scored in the ninth and 30th minutes and Alberth Ellis found the net just before the halftime whistle for a 3-1 Dynamo lead. But they couldn’t hold on for all three points as LAFC scored in the 63rd and 69th minutes against Marko Maric to earn the draw.
The 2020 season got off to a rough start for the Dynamo as they were outscored 5-1 in two games before the COVID break. They did take a point from a 1-1 draw against LA Galaxy at home but their road troubles continued with a 4-0 loss at Sporting KC. Mauro Manotas scored against LA off an assist from Zarek Valentin.
Houston finished 10th in the Western Conference last season as they were outscored by 10 goals overall and won just two of 17 games outside of Houston. Manotas led the team with 13 goals and seven assists, Elis had nine goals and eight assists while Rodriguez scored seven goals. Joe Willis, traded to Nashville in the offseason, started 27 of 34 games in goal with 10 wins, four draws and three clean sheets.
Portland Timbers/Houston Dynamo Betting Lines By Realbookies.com
Portland Timbers -104 to win
Houston Dynamo +223 to win
Over/Under 2.5 goals (O -123, U -106)
Houston has allowed seven goals in their last two games and Portland’s attack looked in great shape in the second half against the Galaxy. A win gives Portland control of the group with a match against group favorites LAFC looming next week. The way these teams scored on Monday night, look for the over to hit when they face each other Saturday.
Head over to your favorite pay per head bookie site https://www.valleysports.com/articles/Become-the-Best.html and take the Over 2.5 goals (-123).