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Massive Predictions: Timbers at Crew

Can the Black & Gold get back to winning ways at home?

MLS: Portland Timbers at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC is off to a good start to the 2019 Major League Soccer season but suffered a setback on the road last week, losing 1-0 to the Montreal Impact. It was the team’s second loss of the year, both on the road and both in shutout fashion.

The Black & Gold return home on Saturday, welcoming in head coach Caleb Porter’s former team, the Portland Timbers to MAPFRE Stadium. Columbus has been good at home, accumulating a 3-0-1 record on the fairgrounds. Will that good start at MAPFRE continue on Saturday? Let’s see what our staff thinks:

Mike Crosky

According to the weatherman, the Timbers will be bringing some of that lovely Portland weather with them this weekend to Central Ohio. Notwithstanding the lackluster game time conditions, Columbus ought to garner a victory on Saturday. Be it that the Crew is at home and the Timbers have been absolutely abysmal all season, the odds are in favor of the Black & Gold. And despite how much Caleb Porter may want to downplay the significance of battling his former club, the reality is that the Crew players are acutely aware this game has special meaning to their coach, and they should respond accordingly. Combining all of those elements, I predict that Columbus will grab all three points.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Portland Timbers 1

Elmer Plasencia

Portland has been bad this year to say the least. They have only one point from their first six matches and have the second-worst scoring defense in the league. Despite the Timber’s poor form on both ends, this should be an interesting affair. Both Columbus and Portland have struggled to find the back of the net with the Timbers only scoring six goals and the Crew with seven.

Caleb Porter will be familiar with some of Portland’s key cogs that are still there from his time with the club. On the flip side, their team leaders will be familiar with Porter’s style. For me, the key to this match is whether or not Columbus can get it going offensively from open play which is something they’ve struggled with so far this season. I think with the added motivation for Porter, he will have the squad ready to go.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Portland Timbers 0

Abigail Hintz

The Portland Timbers are having a rough start to the 2019 season and will be looking to snag their first win of the year on Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium. However, they’re up against a Crew team who is undefeated at home and managed by their former coach. Portland’s defense has struggled this season, conceding no less than two goals in all of their matches thus far. Logistically, no recent information from the Crew lends itself to any result less than three points on Saturday.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Portland Timbers 0

Jay Homan

Wow, before writing this I didn’t realize how bad Portland has been playing. I knew they were underachieving, but one point out of six games for the MLS Cup runners up is surprising. Sure they have been on the road for six weeks straight (soon to be seven), but one point? That makes Atlanta look like a contender.

Needless to say, the Crew should win this one. They are back at home against a team who can’t help but give up at least two goals a game. If Caleb Porter doesn’t get at least two goals from his team (against his former club), then we may need to start hitting the panic button on our offensive productivity this season.
Columbus Crew 2 Portland Timbers 0

Guilherme Torres

This is probably the hardest game to predict in quite some time as the Crew is expected to rotate players during the next three games, but head coach Caleb Porter obviously didn’t disclose which lineup he’s willing to send on the field against his former club.

One thing, however, is for sure, the Timbers are a struggling team right now. Portland is at the bottom of the Western Conference with just one point in six matches and that has a lot to do with the fact that all of then were on the road as Providence Park is being expanded. Road games are tiring and the constant traveling takes a toll on players, so I expect the Crew to come out on top with a comfortable victory.
Columbus Crew 2 Portland Timbers 0

Patrick Murphy

On paper, this is a win for the Crew. The Timbers have struggled all year, with just one point while playing their first 12 games on the road to open the season. The seventh game of the year will come against a Black & Gold side that will be hungry for a win after suffering what they felt was an unjust defeat last week in Montreal.

The issue for Columbus this year has been scoring goals. Given Portland has allowed the most goals in MLS this year, this could be the day the floodgate open for the Crew. Or the Timbers could play five in the back and look to try and hold on for another point. I think the Black & Gold get the win but we’re still asking questions about the offense.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Portland Timbers 0

Jimmy Lentz

After Columbus lost 3-o to Philly on the road last month, the Crew bounced back for a 2-0 win at home against the 2018 MLS Cup winners Atlanta United in a setting that was fit for a ‘Waterworld’ sequel. Last weekend, Columbus lost 1-0 to Montreal with a first half that saw the Crew miss several high-quality goal opportunities.

This Saturday night, the Crew (13 points) will host the Portland Timbers (1 point), which is a team that will bring a porous defense to MAPFRE Stadium. Columbus will bounce back from its second loss of the season with another big win, this time against Caleb Porter’s former squad.
Columbus Crew SC 3 Portland Timbers 0

Tyler Fisher

After a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Montreal, Columbus are back at home to face the Portland Timbers. Both teams are familiar with each other, more or so because of the 2015 MLS Cup Final. Caleb Porter, now coach of Crew SC, managed the Timbers to their first title in 2015 against, the Crew. Earlier in the week, Porter downplayed the first meeting between the two since he left the organization.

Portland has been off to a mediocre start, whereas Columbus under the direction of Porter, have had their heads high and are dominating. We are expecting to see some shakeups in the lineups for this game, and the midweek game coming soon, but I can only tell it’s gonna be dominate no matter what.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Portland Timbers 0

Collin Johnson

So far in 2019, the Crew has not often been in the position of recovering from a tough loss, but that’s where they find themselves after another offensively ineffective performance during last week’s loss at Montreal. Despite optimism from Caleb Porter and the squad, there is reason to be concerned with the continued lack of offensive production that plagues a formerly potent side for the second consecutive season. A home game against Portland, looking for their first win of 2019, might be a chance to add a few goals that will pad their goal differential, but it’s not going to providing lasting answers.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Portland Timbers 0

Nick Hudak

Maybe I was a little too confident in last week’s dream of Columbus winning 2-0 in Montreal. However, the Black & Gold are unbeaten at home on the 2019 season. While their offense is struggling to find the back of the net, the goals seem to come, at least at MAPFRE Stadium. It’s easy to forget how difficult it is for teams to find results away from their own turf. The mindset is confident around the Crew that goals are on the way, they just need to execute and finish. In Caleb Porter’s first match against his former side (and last place) Portland Timbers, they will do just that.
Columbus Crew SC 3 Portland Timbers 0

How do you think the game will go on Saturday? Let us know your Crew score prediction in the comment section below.