Timbers MatchDay: vs. Houston

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

Dynamo at Timbers

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. today at Jeld-Wen Field.

TV/radio: ROOT Sports (Comcast Ch. 34/734) / AM 750.

Tickets: 503-553-5555, portlandtimbers.com. A very limited number of single seats remained at midday on Friday.

Where they stand: Portland has three ties and a loss through four games and is seventh in the West; Houston (3-1) is second in the East.

Head to head: Houston has two wins and a draw in three MLS games against Portland. This is the only game this season between the teams.

Timbers' tale: The Timbers are still looking for their first win — and first lead — of the season. They have come from behind for all three of their ties, including erasing two-goal deficits twice.

Look for a first-time pairing of David Horst and Mikael Silvestre in the center of the defense, as indications are both are healthy.

Darlington Nagbe, who was slowed by a sore ankle and played only the first half last Saturday at Colorado, trained well this week according to coach Caleb Porter and is available to play.

Dynamo story: Two-time defending Eastern Conference champion Houston comes to Portland on a two-game winning streak, having tied the MLS record for consecutive home games without a loss over all competitions (34). The Dynamo is 3-0 at home this season.

Results have been much different on the road, where the Dynamo have eight wins, 25 losses and 17 ties since the start of their 2010 season.

Forward Will Bruin, who scored his first goal of the season in last week's win over San Jose, is injured and won't play. Omar Cummings, an offseason acquisition from Colorado, is one option to replace Bruin in the lineup.

Caleb Porter on Houston: "The biggest challenge is they're confident. They're a mature team. They've had success. They believe in what they do. They don't waiver in what they do (tactically), home or away."

Did you know? This is the first of four April matches for the Timbers against clubs that were among the best in MLS last season. Portland plays San Jose (twice) and visits Kansas City in its other three matches this month.