D.C. United (3-2-2) at Portland (0-3-5), 10:30 p.m.
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Timbers will go for their first win of the season on Saturday when they welcome D.C. United to Providence Park.
Portland, which finished atop the Western Conference last season, is one of two remaining teams in MLS without a victory to this point in the season.
Entering the weekend at the bottom of the West, the Timbers have drawn five of their eight games this season. They most recently played to a 1-1 draw with the Houston Dynamo, a match that required the Timbers to come from behind to earn a point.
"We had been conceding late, but we didn't today," said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter after the match. "It's a real positive that the defenders were making plays late in the game, when a lot of times you get nervous in those moments. They looked composed in the latter stages today, and in some games this year we didn't look completely composed. I'm just disappointed that we don't find a notch more to win the game. That's the final piece we have to dig into."
One bright spot for the Timbers this season has been the play of Gaston Fernandez. The Argentine scored the tying goal of last weekend's match, his third of the campaign.
"Gaston Fernandez showing a bit of quality in that moment of scoring that goal is a big positive for us," said Porter. "The one piece we need to continue to do better is in the final third. For me, I would have liked to see a bit more aggressiveness at times. As much as we had the ball we have to turn that possession into penetration. For me, it's about individuals taking responsibility at times to step up and shoot, and drive. We're getting closer."
While Portland continues to struggle after a successful season last term, D.C. has been flourishing following its dismal season last term.
United, which finished with the worst overall record in MLS in 2013, enters the weekend on a five-match unbeaten run, taking three wins from that stretch.
"I think a lot of these guys have something to prove, for one reason or the other," said United head coach Ben Olsen. "I have something to prove and our staff has something to prove, so hopefully we can continue on this run."
The club fell behind to FC Dallas early on in its last outing, but a red card to Zach Loyd gave United the impetus to grab a 4-1 win.
Chris Rolfe, a late addition to United's squad, was confident that his side would have overturned the deficit even if Dallas had been reduced to 10 men.
"It looked good. Even when we were even strength, we had great possession and great movement," Rolfe said after the match. "We weren't really getting the good kicks that we wanted, but that will come. It's a matter of guys being more comfortable, aggressive and a little greedier."