MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, March 30, 2013
(All times Eastern)
Portland (0-1-2) at Colorado (0-3-1), 6 p.m.
Commerce City, CO (Sports Network) - A pair of winless teams will meet at
Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday as the Colorado Rapids host the
Portland has looked a much better team through the first four weeks of the
season as the Timbers have lost once and drawn twice. Prior to a bye week last
weekend, the Timbers earned a hard-fought point against Seattle Sounders FC at
CenturyLink Field through Rodney Wallace's 90th-minute equalizer.
Wallace received the majority of headlines, but the match marked the return of
Portland's captain to the starting lineup.
Jack Jewsbury picked up an injury during preseason, and the 31-year-old eased
back into action with a slightly modified position on the pitch against
"I honestly think it's the ideal role for him at this point in his career
where he can kind of act as a pivot where he can sit in front of the center
backs," Timbers head coach Caleb Porter told MLSsoccer.com. "I don't really
get caught up in the numbers game. More than anything our players know how
we're attacking and how we're defending. I think that tweak with Jack in there
allowed us to play through Jack more, it allowed us to protect our center
Portland has produced five goals in three games, but the club added to its
stable of attacking talent by acquiring Frederic Piquionne. The former English
Premier League striker has been working on his fitness during the off-week in
a bid to log his first MLS appearance against Colorado.
"It's good for me because...it was a long trip for me," Piquionne told the
club's official website. "Now I have a program to get better, so I have good
fitness for the next game. And hopefully I have a chance to play in the next
Colorado could also see a striker make his club debut as Edson Buddle has been
training without limitation after a couple of injury setbacks.
"I'm wanting to be ready for this weekend," Buddle told Colorado's official
website. "I'm pushing myself each and every day to be as fit as possible."
Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja, who may be on the hot seat if match results do
not improve, indicated that Buddle is likely to be available for Saturday's
tilt but did not reveal how he plans to use the striker.
"Edson has been working very hard during the week," Pareja said. "He's
training at a high level. We have a couple of days to go but it is looking
like a possibility that he'll be available."
Colorado is sure to be without defender Drew Moor, who has been ruled out of
the clash with Portland as he serves a two-game suspension stemming from a red
card in last weekend's 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
03/29 16:14:04 ET