Well Portland fans. It’s finally here. Your home opener. Approximately 600-some-odd parking spots around Jeld Wen Stadium so I can only imagine the stress of those driving being offset by the absolute joyousness occurring right now on the TriMet public transportation system.
Quick note here that Denver and Portland got their public trans initiatives going about the same time–vastly different strategies, vastly different effect. More here.
But back to the “at-hand.”
A raucous crowd rain-or-rainshine expected tonight for Portland’s home opener and the Chicago Fire are a crafty opponent–that’s managed to mildly surprise here in the early going–for the Timbers to welcome to their yard.
And let me note here, much to the chagrin of Timbers fans I would imagine, a somewhat unfair and over zealous media has largely jumped on the Timbers cheering bandwagon this week and acted as accomplices to the Timbers cheering section. TSG’s statement, “Beyond thrilled for MLS in a city that can clearly well-support it’s franchise. That said, this an early season game between two “not sure what to make of thems” and there are many cities and fanbases that do their squads proud.”
That’s not gasoline for the Fire. Just a statement.
Tonight’s expectation? I expect a Timbers win and because of that crowd….if John Spencer pulls out the stops. I’ll explain.
You’re looking at a Chicago side on the road and with a game against the Galaxy back home this weekend. The Timbers come of a bye weekend and arguably had more prep time for Chicago. You know they want a win in their home opener.
If John Spencer goes with a true attacking side, employing rookie Darlington Nagbe and speedster (but MLS fantasy sinkhole to date) Sal Zizzo in the midfield, the speed of Portland’s attack should test a young Chicago defense.
The first goal turns this one in my opinion. No worse than a draw for the team that scores first. Should it be Portland, then the Timbers might lay siege. Should it be Fire, than they’ll take the ax out of the Timber’s attack by sitting back and slowing down the match.