Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Toronto FC will aim to extend its modest unbeaten streak to three matches on Saturday when the club welcomes the Portland Timbers to BMO Field.
After starting the 2015 season on an eight-game road trip while renovations to BMO Field were completed, TFC returns for its third home match of the season looking to rack up the points in front of the home fans.
Last time out, Greg Vanney's club earned a hard-fought draw away from home in a 1-1 stalemate against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
TFC fell behind in the 32nd minute as Juan Agudelo got on the other end of a cross from London Woodberry to apply the finishing touch.
But Toronto pulled level in the second half as Michael Bradley pulled the visitors level with a great individual effort as he completed a long solo run by driving his shot inside the far post.
"We had opportunities where maybe we could win the game," TFC head coach Greg Vanney said. "They did in the end, too, as our legs got tired after a third game in [a week]. When Jozy was out there, they were having a hard time figuring out how to defend us. We were getting into good spots, but in the end, I won't be greedy, I'll for sure take the point, especially considering the fatigue that had set in. In the end, I'll take the point."
TFC will also be shorthanded on the attacking end as U.S. international forward Jozy Altidore will miss the next 4-5 weeks with a hamstring strain.
Portland, meanwhile, will try to rebound from a poor performance against the Houston Dynamo that resulted in a 3-1 loss at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Timbers fell behind after just nine minutes when Will Bruin got on the end of a free kick from Brad Davis and stuck it in the back of the net.
Diego Valeri pulled one back for Portland, but they couldn't keep pace with a rampant Dynamo attack as Giles Barnes put the hosts back on top and Bruin completed a double in the final 10 minutes to wrap up all three points.
"We knew Houston was going to be dangerous in three ways - set pieces, crossing, and counter-attacking. They executed in those three ways well; they scored three goals that way," said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter.
"We knew it coming in and we made some mistakes on all three goals. Because of that 'we' meaning myself, the coaching staff, and the players take one on the chin. The key now is to correct the mistakes; not let them happen again and respond. It's a long season; this is one game. We're going to get back to work and get ready for Toronto."
"I thought, the way the second half was playing out, that it was going to go in our favor, at 1-1 we had chances to go 2-1 and then at 2-1 down we had chances to make it 2-2 but it didn't happen for us and there are no excuses," Porter added. "Again there's nothing that happened today that surprised any of us. Give Houston credit, they executed well and we didn't."
This will be the first meeting of the season between the teams. Toronto earned an exciting 3-2 win over Portland at BMO Field last season.