Washington, D.C. – The Portland Timbers and D.C. United are two teams at complete opposite ends of the spectrum.
The two sides will meet at RFK Stadium on Saturday, and while Portland will hope to extend its unbeaten run to 11 games, D.C. will be out to claim its first win since March 9.
United last tasted victory with a 1-0 home defeat of Real Salt Lake, but the club followed the result with a nine-game winless run, seven matches of which have ended in defeat.
D.C. managed to put a stop to a club-record seven-game losing streak last time out, earning a 1-1 draw at Sporting Kansas City.
"There's a lot to work on. I'm not sugar-coating this tie, but it beats losing," United head coach Ben Olsen said after last weekend's match at SKC. "I think there's a little bit of an exhale (in the locker room), if I'm completely honest with you. It's not easy to lose this many games and not have doubt. I think this gives them a chance to exhale and maybe smile for a day or two and understand that here's an opportunity to really change things next weekend against Portland."
The Timbers, by comparison, cannot keep themselves from picking up points. They are the only team in the league with one defeat in the loss column.
But while Portland has managed to avoid defeat all but once this season, they still come into the weekend third in the Western Conference on 19 points, five points back of first-place FC Dallas.
The main reason for Portland's position in the table has been its penchant for settling for draws. Out of their 12 matches, the Timbers enter the weekend with an MLS-high seven draws this season.
Portland, coming off of a 2-2 tie at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, appears to be content with draws, though.
"The reality is it's tough to go on the road in this league and get a result so it's a good feeling but we know we've got another tough test the next couple of weeks so we've got three in a row on the road now and next up is D.C. and we look to go there and pick up three points," said Jack Jewsbury.
The Timbers have shown that they can handle adversity with great aplomb. They head to RFK Stadium with the league's only remaining unbeaten road record in tact.
"This team just seems to have that never quit, refuse to lose [attitude]," said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. "And you hope you can kind of harness it in a team and some teams just never have it, but this team has it. We've seen that, and it's not just the first game we've shown that, but in several games our backs are against the wall and we somehow find a way to get a result."