Tomorrow is Matchday 20, and New York City FC are in Stumptown on short rest to face the Portland Timbers on the plastic grass at historic Providence Park. Here is your NYCFC vs Portland preview and Game Day Hub.
Game Day Essentials
- Matchday 20: NYCFC at Portland Timbers
- Date and Time: Saturday, June 24, 10:30 pm ET
- Kickoff Time: 10:39 pm ET
- Venue: Providence Park
- Bruce Arena Forecast: Pleasant, clear, 75˚ F/24˚ C
- Watch: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
- Apple TV Broadcast Team: TBA
- Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
- Officiating Crew: Nima Saghafi (referee), Adam Garner and Kevin Lock (assistant referees), Ekaterina Koroleva (fourth official), Daniel Radford (VAR), Fabio Tovar (assistant VAR)
NYCFC vs Portland preview
Neither NYCFC nor the Timbers are looking sharp these days. New York City have 20 points after 19 games and sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, three points outside of the playoff zone. Portland have 21 points after 19 games and are in 10th place in the Western Conference, just one point off of ninth place and playoff spot.
Maybe more telling for NYCFC is the team’s winless streak, which is now at 10 games in MLS league play. As for the Timbers, it’s their not-great home record of 4 wins, 2 draws, and 3 losses — they lost 3 games at Providence Park in all of 2022.
This game pits two teams on the outside looking in. Should be fun.
Oppo Research: 5 things about Portland Timbers
NYCFC vs Portland Timbers H2H
Portland dominate the head-to-head between the two clubs, although the two rarely meet. They last faced each other in the 2021 MLS Cup Final, which counts as a draw even though NYCFC went on to win the penalty shootout and take the title.
Prior to that game, Portland had New York City’s number. NYCFC’s only win over the Timbers was way back in May of 2016, when Barack Obama was still president. David Villa and Tommy McNamara both scored in that game, goalkeeper Josh Saunders made seven saves, and Andrea Pirlo earned Player of the Match honors. You can read more about it here.
NYCFC return to Portland in search of another Providence Park moment
- Player Availability: Defender Thiago Martins will be out until late August after undergoing knee surgery. James Sands is with the USMNT, but defender Maxime Chanot is back from international duty with Luxembourg and could be available.
- The question for many weeks was: Where will NYCFC find goals? Gabriel Pereira gave us an answer in Atlanta, when he scored twice. Soccer is a team sport, but it seemed as if he did it all himself for both of his goals.
- The new question: When will NYCFC stop giving away cheap goals? Atlanta’s stoppage-time equalizer was less a product of attacking brilliance than lazy defending.
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- Player Availability:Winger Yimmi Chara is also unavailable, as are midfielders David Ayala and Erik Williamson.
- Forward Felipe Mora will return to the bench after recovering from knee surgery. NYCFC fans will remember the last-minute goal he scored to send the 2021 MLS Cup Final into extra time.
- This is a Portland that has a proven goalscorer in striker Franck Boli. The 29-year-old joined Portland this year after scoring 41 goals in 122 games for Ferencvaros in Hungary. Boli has five goals this season, including one he scored on Wednesday against Chicago Fire.
- Speaking of the Fire: They beat Portland at home behind an 83′ goal from septuagenarian Kei Kamara. Did we mention the Timbers aren’t having the strongest season at Providence Park?
- Learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of this squad in Oppo Research: 5 things about Portland Timbers.