Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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MLS Preview: St. Louis City SC (2-0-0) at Portland Timbers (1-1-0)

In their seven home games against expansion teams, the Portland Timbers have only lost once, to Orlando City SC in April 2015, 2-0 (W5 D1). Since (W4 D1), Portland has won all five of its home matches against MLS newcomers, including the last three.

After falling behind 3-0 in the first 52 minutes of Saturday’s match at Los Angeles Football Club, Portland was defeated 3-2. The two late goals made it 22 regular season games with goals for the Timbers, the longest streak in MLS and the longest streak in club history, which lasted from June 2017 to March 2018.

St. Louis City SC is the fourth expansion team in MLS history to win its first two games. The others are the Chicago Fire (19989), Seattle Sounders (2009), and Los Angeles Football Club (2018). Only the Seattle Sounders were successful in winning their first three MLS matches in 2009.

Evander, a newcomer to Portland Timbers, has shown assertiveness in his first two MLS games, including Saturday’s goal and four shots against Los Angeles Football Club. This season, Evander has attempted to confront a defender 14 times and has succeeded in nine of those attempts—tied with Atlanta’s T. Almada and L. Araujo for the highest total in MLS).

Joao Klauss is the third player after Diego Rossi (Los Angeles Football Club, 2018) and Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders, 2009) to score in an expansion team’s first two MLS games. He has done so in each of St. Louis City SC’s first two games. No expansion or other team has ever scored in all three of its first three MLS games.

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