The Portland Timbers will go for the season series win over the host Houston Dynamo FC when the two sides square off on Wednesday in what are sure to be hot and steamy conditions in the Bayou City.
The Timbers travel south after a rousing 2-1 win at home over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. Dairon Asprilla and Marvin Loria scored first-half goals as Portland answered an early SKC tally and held on for the victory.
Portland (4-4-0, 12 points) has captured three of its past four matches (3-1-0), outscoring the opposition 7-1 over that trio of wins. Before that, the Timbers beat Houston 2-1 on April 24 in Portland in the first of three meetings this season between the two teams.
Saturday's win was a huge bounceback for the Timbers after a 3-0 loss in Philadelphia on May 30. It was obvious that Portland used the three-week break to get back to the form it produced early in the campaign.
"The team stayed calm, continued to do the things we needed to do and didn't stress after (Kansas City's) goal," Portland coach Giovanni Savarese said.
The Timbers also got a huge boost from the home crowd; Providence Park was allowed to be filled at 80 percent capacity for the match.
"(The stadium) was electric, energetic, and the passion of the fans was transmitted to the players," Savarese said.
The Dynamo (3-3-3, 12 points) head home after earning a point in Los Angeles via a come-from-behind 1-1 draw Saturday with LAFC. Houston got a goal from Maxi Urruti in the 58th minute to produce the result. The Dynamo have gone 2-2-3 since the loss to Portland in the season's second week.
Houston coach Tab Ramos said his team is improving with each match and that the progress was as important as finding a way to the draw against one of MLS's elite teams on the road.
"We're really building a nice group of players who want to play together, and we want to fight for each other, and I think it showed," Ramos said.
--Field Level Media