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Portland, RSL renew acquaintances at Rio Tinto

Sandy, UT (Sports Network) - Just nine days after playing to a 3-3 draw at Jeld-Wen Field, the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake will renew acquaintances when they square off at Rio Tinto Stadium on Friday.

Friday's tilt will be the second of three meetings between Portland and Salt Lake this season, and it promises to be a lively affair as the Timbers, who started the season without a loss in their first nine games away from home, look to put an end to their disappointing road form which has seen the club drop its last two contests away from Jeld-Wen.

Portland is coming off of a narrow 1-0 road defeat to Seattle Sounders FC, a result that perhaps did not tell the whole story according to head coach Caleb Porter.

"Well, we played well. It was a very even game," Porter said after the match. "For us to come in to this environment and basically go toe-to-toe with one of the most talented teams in the league and control large periods ... we had chances. They had a few as well, but it was a very even game and it was a real credit to our guys, especially with the fact that we had several guys out. For us to come into this game and play as well as we did and perform as well as we did is commendable."

Porter may feel the performance was sufficient, but with only nine matches left in Portland's season, it's getting to the point where points need to become the priority.

Sunday's loss to Seattle dropped the Timbers (39 points) to fourth place in the Western Conference, just two points above the playoff line.

Real Salt Lake, meanwhile, has been in cruise control for much of the season. The Claret and Cobalt enter the weekend on 45 points through 27 games, good enough to leave the club atop the overall MLS table.

Jason Kreis' side most recently routed the Columbus Crew, 4-0, at Rio Tinto in a showing that the RSL boss was proud of from beginning to end.

"For me this is the most complete match we've played the entire season, and I think it's fantastic that this comes a day after I challenged the group," Kreis said. "I feel like we've done a lot of good things this year in every single match. We've also done some pretty bad things in every single match. So tonight I thought it was the most complete performance we've had in a match this year, and it comes at the right time because we're at our most critical stretch."

Kyle Beckerman was instrumental in the victory, but not in the usual manner. The holding midfielder got on the scoresheet with two goals, a facet of his game that typically is not seen.

"Goals are just fun. They're fun to score," said the RSL captain. "It's a great feeling after it happens, and it's always good to get on the stat line to help the team in that way.

"We're just going to continue to try and get better. I think that we can get even better than we were tonight and keep improving, keep our head down, keep working hard and get ready for the playoffs."

08/29 17:45:15 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CLE 6
TOR 4
Final
DET 2
ANA 1
Final
NYM 4
ATL 3
Final
MIA 3
SEA 2
Final
PIT 2
MIL 3
Final
WAS 3
STL 2
Final
TAM 1
NYY 5
Final
KAN 3
MIN 8
Final
CHC 2
CIN 8
Final
TEX 2
CWS 16
Final
OAK 4
HOU 1
Final
LOS 4
ARI 1
Final
COL 9
PHI 10
Final
SDP 3
SFG 4
Final
BOS 6
BAL 5
11:05am Today
BOS
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
ANA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
STL
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
ARI
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
SDP
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
SFG
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
TEX
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
HOU
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
SAN 90
DAL 85
Final
MIA 99
CHA 88
Final
CHI 93
WAS 102
Final
HOU 120
POR 122
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
GSW
Final
NYR 2
PHI 4
Final
BOS 4
DET 1
Final
MON 3
TAM 2
Final
SJS 7
LOS 2
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
COL
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
9:30pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
Final
NOR 6
DUR 3
 
12:05pm Today
NOR
DUR