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Timbers bring unbeaten streak into match vs. Nashville

Sportsnaut
Mar 8, 2020; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark (12) defends the goal during the second half against Nashville SC forward Dominique Badji (9) at Providence Park. The Timbers won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

After losing in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal this past week, Nashville SC aim to get back in the win column when they host the Portland Timbers on Sunday night in the Music City.

Portland (5-6-7, 22 points) sits below the playoff line in the Western Conference table and three spots behind Nashville (7-5-5, 26 points), but the Timbers are unbeaten in their last three league matches.

Most recently, the Timbers beat the Houston Dynamo 2-1 on Wednesday.

Portland, will be without defensive midfielder Bill Tuiloma against Nashville, after he received a pair of yellow cards against Houston. Tuiloma was whistled for a foul near midfield in the 75th minute, then complained to the referee, who issued him his walking papers.

“We need these type of results at home,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said, according to The Oregonian. “Even though we suffered in the second half — it was difficult, especially with 10 men, and credit to Houston — I’m extremely proud of how the guys ground it out and defended well to make sure we got the result that we needed.”

The Timbers will try to get points on the road without a key player. Not only has Tuiloma been a stout defender, he also has five goals and an assist.

Nashville’s U.S. Open Cup defeat came penalty kicks, where Orlando City bested them 6-5. Before that loss, Nashville was unbeaten in six of its previous seven matches across all contests.

After the loss to Orlando, Nashville coach Gary Smith put part of the blame on the referees.

“To be perfectly honest, I think we were let down quite a little bit from the officials in a situation where we needed someone to be strong,” Smith said, according to The Tennessean. “Unfortunately, I thought they fell short, the officials, of where they needed to be.”

–Field Level Media