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  • March 22, 2014
  • • 6:00 PM
  • • Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Denver, Colorado
  • Referee: M. Geiger
  • • Attendance: 15135

MLS Preview: Colorado Rapids - Portland Timbers

MLS Preview: Colorado Rapids - Portland Timbers

Steve Dykes/Stringer

The Timbers and Rapids have yet to taste victory in 2014 but haven't been defeated either. They meet Saturday looking for that first win of the new season.

The Portland Timbers head to Colorado this weekend in search of their first win of the season, and they take on a Rapids side looking for the same thing.

The Timbers produced a pair of disappointing home draws to start the 2014 campaign, and they take on a Colorado side that is coming off an impressive 1-1 tie on the road against the New York Red Bulls.

The Timbers will look to get their offense on track after managing to produce just two goals in two matches at home despite dominating possession in both matches. Coach Caleb Porter will be looking for the right combination to get star players Diego Valeri and Darlington Nagbe going. Neither has produced a goal this season.

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Longtime Rapids player Pablo Mastroeni will be coaching his first match at home since taking over as head coach two weeks ago. The former U.S. national team midfielder is expected to make several changes to the lineup that faced the Red Bulls, with standout defender Chris Klute sidelined by a hamstring injury and goalkeeper Clint Irwin a candidate to return from injury.

Klute's absence will make containing Nagbe that much more difficult for Colorado, with veteran reserve Marc Burch a likely candidate to fill the left back role.

Portland will have its own injury issues to deal with, as center back Norberto Paparatto is an injury question mark. Regular starter Pa Modou Kah could return to action this weekend, which would be a big help in the Timbers' quest to slow down dangerous Rapids forwards Deshorn Brown and Gabriel Torres.

Weather forecasts are calling for snow in the Denver area Saturday, which could affect the match, though reports suggest the game will be played regardless of the weather conditions at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The venue was the host of the memorable "Snow Game" that saw the U.S. national team beat Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier exactly one year ago.

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