MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
06/06/2014 5:39 PM
06/06/2014 5:50 PM
Portland (3-4-7) at Real Salt Lake (6-1-7), 10 p.m.
Sandy, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers will renew their rivalry on Saturday when the two sides square off at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Salt Lake and Portland have produced some enthralling encounters in recent seasons, though the Claret and Cobalt have enjoyed the better rub of the green in terms of results, going 2-0-2 in matches between the two sides since the start of last season.
Not only will that record provide some extra incentive for Portland, but the club is coming off of a disappointing 4-3 home defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Timbers trailed by three goals in the match and managed to cut the deficit down to one, but they ultimately fell just short of a tremendous comeback.
Despite the loss, Caleb Porter's men showed that they are never truly out of a match, even when trailing by a sizable margin.
"This team has never lacked intensity, never lacked spirit, and they didn't lack it tonight," the Timbers boss said after the match.
But the Timbers must find a way to regroup as the defeat, which snapped a two- game winning run, still leaves them second from bottom in the Western Conference.
"We're moving on, simple. This game's over," Porter said. "This game's done. I've said that since I got here about our process, win, lose or draw we file it away and move on. If we would have won the game, there's still another game around the corner. We lose the game, there's another game around the corner. It doesn't change a thing.
"Obviously it's been a long week and tough to lose this last one at home but the reality is we still got six points out of this three-game stretch, so it's not all bad."
Salt Lake will also be looking to regroup as it enters Saturday's clash on a three-game winless run.
The club suffered its first defeat under new head coach Jeff Cassar when it was throttled by Seattle Sounders FC, 4-0, at CenturyLink Field on May 31. The Claret and Cobalt thought they had done enough to get a win against the Columbus Crew on Wednesday when Luis Gil scored in the 56th minute, but Ethan Finlay bagged an 88th-minute equalizer to see the two sides split the points.
"I think at the end of the day we are going to leave here feeling fine with a point," Cassar said after the match. "We could have had three. Our goalkeeper played fantastic, so it was probably the correct result at the end of the day. If we could do a better job in the last five minutes of games we would have a much better record."
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