For the last time this regular season, the Portland Timbers face a quick turnaround following a weekend. The nice thing is they got an extra couple days' rest than they were scheduled to, because the Friday night win over the New York Red Bulls was supposed to be on Sunday, but was moved back for...reasons (probably fear of Eclipseageddon traffic, which turned out not really to be a thing). Anyway, with three points in the bag from that game, the Timbers move on to their final midweek game of the season as they welcome the Colorado Rapids to Providence Park.
The Rapids, of course, are fresh off the firing of coach Pablo Mastroeni; interim coach Steve Cooke has the reins until the end of the season, at least. His first game in charge was a fairly dull affair against DC United, which was settled with one of the hilarious own goals you'll see. That was the only goal in the game
One of the biggest cliches in sports is "the only thing that matters is the next game". The problem with that is these midweek, short rest games. A quick glance at the schedule shows the Timbers' next opponent is...Seattle away. Where Portland has never won in the regular season. And where Seattle is currently riding a nine game unbeaten streak, depending on what happens Wednesday. And where, depending on what happens Wednesday when Seattle play Vancouver, a win over the Timbers would clinch the Cascadia Cup for the Sounders.
So I would expect that, with Colorado struggling, we might see a few changes from the Timbers on Wednesday night, as the Timbers will feel like Seattle would be the game that would be the bigger test. One change is known for sure - Larrys Mabiala will miss the game after his Friday night red card. Jeremy Ebobisse didn't really hurt his stock with his performance Friday night - at least no more than any Timber, in that hot mess of a game - and it would be nice to see him get another start as he develops into a different-look option up front for the Timbers.
Still unknown are the statuses (stati?) of Fanendo Adi and Jake Gleeson, who between them currently have two functional hamstrings. Neither sounded terribly serious, but again, it's not known whether they'll be rushed back for Wednesday or saved for Sunday. Vytas had a pretty bad game Friday, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him starting on the bench as well.
Tim Howard; Marlon Hairston, Jared Watts, Axel Sjoberg, Eric Miller; Bismark Boateng, Micheal Azira, Mohammed Saeid; Shkëlzen Gashi, Kevin Doyle, Dominique Badji
Jeff Attinella; Alvas Powell, Roy Miller, Lawrence Olum, Zarek Valentin; David Guzmán, Diego Chará; Darlington Nagbe, Diego Valeri, Sebastián Blanco; Jeremy Ebobisse
Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids
Providence Park, Portland
Wednesday, August 21, 2017
COL: Altitude Sports
Streaming: MLS Live (subscription service, blackout rules apply)