o Where they stand: Portland (7-5-4, 25 points); Houston (5-6-5, 20 points). Portland is tied for third place in the Western Conference with Los Angeles. The Timbers visit the Galaxy on Wednesday.
o Busy stretch: Saturday’s game starts a stretch of five matches over 16 days for the Timbers. Portland visits Los Angeles on Wednesday, hosts Seattle on June 28, visits Real Salt Lake for an Open Cup game on July 1 and hosts San Jose on July 5.
o PK choice: Will Johnson said he thought briefly about stepping up to take the penalty kick, but that it is more important to have forwards scoring goals. “I think for this team to win, we need Gaston Fernandez scoring goals. We need our strikers scoring goals. I thought it was just a great opportunity to let him get that goal. He’s one of the best I’ve seen (at penalty kicks). He’s a very confident guy.”
o Lineup notes: Urruti started up top and Fernandez in the attacking central midfield slot, with Fanendo Adi replacing Urruti in the 76th minute and Diego Valeri relieving Fernandez in the 72nd minute. … The Timbers started four field players who played all 120 minutes against Seattle on Tuesday: Darlington Nagbe, Rodney Wallace, Norberto Paparatto and Villafana. … Paparatto got his second league start alongside Liam Ridgewell. Alvas Powell, who left Tuesday’s match with a leg injury, went the distance on Saturday at right back. … Second-year defender Taylor Peay, who relieved Powell on Tuesday, replaced Nagbe in the 86th minute on Saturday. Also available as a substitute was midfielder Michael Nanchoff, who underwent sports hernia surgery in March and played in four matches on loan to Timbers 2 during his recovery.
PORTLAND — Things are falling the Timbers’ way these days.
On Saturday, against a team that thrives by scoring from free kicks and corner kicks, it was Portland that made the most of those chances. The result was a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo at sold-out Providence Park that extended the Timbers’ Major League Soccer win streak to four games, and their overall string of victories to five.