Friday, July 19, 2024
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MLS Preview: Nashville SC (6-7-8) vs Portland Timbers (8-8-6)

The Portland Timbers (6th, 8-8-6, 30pts) face a short turnaround following the end of their seven-match undefeated streak. Just three days after their Fourth of July battle in Frisco, Texas, the Timbers get their chance to bounce back, and in front of their own as they host Nashville SC (11th, 5-10-5, 20pts) for the first time this season

Stuck in a bit of a slump, Sunday’s visitors have a mixed bag of results this year that have landed them in the middle of the Eastern Conference pack. Still in playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference, Nashville SC makes the trip out west looking to for a result following two-straight losses. With three of their next four on the road, their first stop in the Rose City will be a test of durability as Leagues Cup looms.

Interim head coach Rumba Munthali has a big task at hand before handing the keys off to B.J. Callaghan ahead of the summer tournament. Since taking over for previous head coach Gary Smith on May 16, Munthali has amassed a 3-3-3 record. Led offensively in 2024 by English attacker Sam Surridge (7g, 1a) and 2022 Golden Boot winner Hany Mukhtar (5g, 7a), Nashville took a blow at the beginning of the month, losing their top goalscorer to injury. Midfielder Amar Sejdic controls the ball for the yellow team, leading the way in accurate passes (71.3%) and accurate long balls (8.1) per game. Defensively, Walker Zimmerman and Jack Maher hold it down, leading in clearances and blocks per game, with 4.5 and 0.9 respectively. Goalkeeper Joe Willis has recorded six clean sheets so far and holds a 73.8 save percantage in 18 matches.

Notes & Numbers

UNDEFEATED

Through three all-time meetings, the Timbers have yet to suffer defeat to Nashville SC. Since their first match on March 8, 2020, Portland has recorded one victory, no defeats, and two draws with their Tennessee opponents.

22 in 18

He’s having a tremendous sophmore season in MLS, and with his recent MLS All-Star selection, Evander continues to demonstrate why he’s Portland’s #10. In 18 appearances this year, the Brazilian has recorded an impressive 22 goal contributions (10g, 12a).

41

Portland has registered 41 goals through 22 matches this season, which is currently tied for fourth-most in MLS. It is the fewest number of games it has taken the club to reach 40 goals or more a season in club history, excluding the shortened 2020 season.

L5 @ Providence Park

Although their overall unbeaten streak came to an end, Portland will be vying to extend their current unbeaten streak at home. In their last 5 games at Providence Park, the Timbers are 4-0-1 and have not lost since mid-May.

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