RSL, Portland hope to return to winning ways
Portland, OR – Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers will be hoping to get back in the win column on Saturday when the two sides meet at Jeld-Wen Field.
Both teams are coming off of disappointing 1-0 defeats with Real Salt Lake falling to Chivas USA and Portland finishing second-best to the New England Revolution, their first losses of the season.
Portland has conceded the opening goal in all three of its matches this season, a worrying trend for captain Jack Jewsbury.
"For whatever reason, [falling behind early has] been a theme this year that's happened, and we've got to fix it and we've got to fix it quick," Jewsbury said.
"It's tough. Obviously everything was good after the home game because we came back and scored three goals and got the win. And on the result, there's also a positive on the road against Dallas, because we've come back against a tough team and get a result there. But the reality is setting in that if you continue to start games like this, you shoot yourself in the foot and it definitely has got to be better from us."
Portland's loss at New England also marked the first time that the Timbers were held scoreless this season.
"I think you would expect [Kris Boyd] to at least hit the target with his goal-scoring ability and record," head coach John Spencer said. "He definitely expects to score there, but as they say, one of those games for him. One of those games for the 11, 12, 13 players on the field [Saturday]."
Real Salt Lake was also kept off the score sheet for the first time this year in a disappointing home loss to Chivas. The club has always fared well at Rio Tinto Stadium, but struggles have recently hit the Claret and Cobalt as they have gone 1-2-1 over their last four league games at home, dating back to last season.
"What they're not used to is being frustrated at home," head coach Jason Kreis said. "And so I think when you went one [goal] down, you got a lot of guys feeling some real anxiety because we don't lose here."
Kreis has issued the same starting lineup for all three games this season.
"I think we've got some guys now that started in the first two games and have to feel good about their contribution and have a little bit of experience under their belts," said the RSL boss. "That should put us in a good position for the next three matches."
Kreis has left plenty of firepower on the bench, but coming off a loss to Chivas, Javier Morales and Alvaro Saborio could be in line for a start at Jeld-Wen on Saturday.