July 21, 2018 / 4:34 AM / a month ago

Timbers put league unbeaten streak on the line against rising Impact

The Portland Timbers will try to respond from their first loss in any competition since early April when they host the Montreal Impact on Saturday night at Providence Park.

Nov 5, 2017; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Timbers forward Dairon Asprilla (27) celebrates with midfielder Diego Valeri (8) after scoring a goal during the first half against the Houston Dynamo during the Western Conference semifinal at Providence Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Portland (8-3-6, 30 points) is still unbeaten in its last 12 league matches as it enters the weekend, with eight wins and four draws in that stretch. After a slow start, the Timbers now sit in fourth in the Western Conference.

But after a 0-0 draw in the league last weekend at second-place LAFC, the Timbers sustained a 3-2 defeat in a second visit to the same Southern California club in Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals.

Portland was outshot 22-12, but their six efforts on target equalled LAFC’s.

“We created a lot of chances in a stadium where it is not easy, against a team that is a very good team,” said Portland midfielder Diego Valeri. “We’re very disappointed in the result. The positive is that we left everything on the field, individually and collectively. We gave it everything, which is the point, and then you can manage the result.”

It will be a quick turnaround for Portland, but the same is true for Montreal (9-12-0, 27 points), which defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 at home Wednesday in the first leg of the Canadian Championship semifinals.

The Impact were able to rest a few regulars in that victory, bringing in winger Ignacio Piatti and defender Jukka Raitala off the bench and giving forward Matteo Mancosu the night off.

Still, the trip to Portland represents the fifth match in a seven-match, 22-day stretch that ends on July 28. So far, the Impact are 3-1-0 in that span, winning all three of their home matches and losing their one road trip to New York City FC in league play.

In league play, Montreal have won six of their last eight to move up to sixth place in the Eastern Conference, just above the playoff line.

“It’s a tough month this month, so we’re going to need everybody,” said Impact midfielder Ken Krolicki. “But everybody’s giving 100 percent every game. And I think we are good enough. The coaches made sure we were a fit team in the preseason. So I think we are going to get through this month and I think we’re going to get a result on the road against Portland.”

—Field Level Media

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