Timbers at Houston
Kickoff: Noon Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston.
TV: KPTV 12.
Radio: 750 AM.
Timbers (0-3-4, 4 points): To avoid being winless two months into the season, the Timbers need to make plays in key moments. Portland played probably its most complete game of the season last weekend at Real Salt Lake, but was denied by strong play from RSL keeper Nick Rimando.
In the last four games, Portland has allowed the tying or winning goal later than the 77th minute. Temperatures are expected to be around 80 degrees at kickoff, which could test the Timbers mental and physical toughness. Midfielder Michael Nanchoff saw his first MLS action as a Timber in a reserve role at RSL. For the second game in a row, Gastón Fernández came on an hour in at RSL and along with Nanchoff energized the Timbers attack.
Houston (2-4-1, 7 points): The Dynamo are coming off a 4-0 loss on Wednesday at New York and have been shut out in three consecutive games despite generating scoring chances in each. They have gone 318 minutes without scoring — which matches the time captain Brad Davis has missed with an ankle injury. Davis trained on Friday but his status for Sunday’s match is unknown. Former Timber David Horst has been a starter in central defense for the Dynamo. Will Bruin leads Houston with three goals this season.