Storylines to Watch:
Portland in the hunt amidst a tight playoff race
The Portland Timbers had a demanding road test at Gillette Stadium this past Saturday night that saw them come from behind to draw the New England Revolution.
The 1-1 result leaves Portland in the middle of a very tight playoff race heading into the home stretch of their 2018 campaign. The Timbers currently sit sixth in the West, tied on points with a fifth-place Sounders squad. The Whitecaps are a point behind both in seventh, but have a game in hand.
Following the game against the Revs, coach Giovanni Savarese assessed his team's outlook as they head into the final weeks.
"I thought we were solid in the first half, but in the second half, we gave everything we had in order to be able to at least get a point," Savarese said. "Now we have to go back, practice, make sure the guys get fresh again - ready to play the next game. We always have to say 'one game at a time'. Every game is tough."
Guzmán and Powell called up for international duty
Portland Timbers midfielder David Guzmán and defender Alvas Powell will miss Saturday's game against the Rapids as they have been called up by their respective national teams. Guzmán will join Costa Rica for friendlies against South Korea on September 7 and Japan on September 11, while Powell will join Jamaica for a friendly against Ecuador on September 7.
Guzmán has earned 49 caps for the Costa Rican national team since making his debut in 2010. Since making his senior team debut in 2012, Powell has earned 35 caps for Jamaica.
Player to Watch: Sebastián Blanco
Sebastián Blanco is a creative force and a dynamic playmaker for the Timbers, finding the net six times while adding six assists this season. Two of those assists have come in the Timbers' last five-games.
Following the trade of striker Fanendo Adi to FC Cincinnati in July, the Timbers have relied on Blanco, Diego Valeri and Samuel Armenteros to carry the bulk of the goal-scoring duties. The trio has scored 23 of Portland's 38 goals this season.
The midfielder, known for his technical ability and quality decision-making in the final third, was brought to Portland in February 2017 after making over 200 appearances in the Argentine Primera División, as well as brief spells in the Ukrainian Premier League and English Premier League. Blanco made a club-high 33 appearances (32 starts) last season, notching eight goals and eight assists.
Rapids fans should expect to see Blanco present in Portland's attack Saturday night.
Portland Timbers vs Colorado Rapids - Head-to-Head
The Rapids have met the Portland Timbers 19 times in the MLS regular season, resulting in a 7-9-3 record. The Timbers are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference with a 11-7-8 overall record. The Rapids, meanwhile, return to MLS action after recording a 3-2 win against Tulsa Roughnecks FC in a friendly at AutoZone Park. They head to Portland with a season record that currently sits at 6-14-6 overall.
- Head-to-Head Overall: Portland Timbers 9 wins, 25 goals | Colorado Rapids 7 wins, 25 goals | 3 ties
- Head-to-Head in Portland: Portland Timbers 7 wins, 14 goals | Colorado Rapids 1 wins, 4 goals | 0 ties
- Previous Meeting: Colorado Rapids 2, Portland Timbers 3 (May 26, 2018)