The Portland Timbers began their preseason campaign with three matches in Costa Rica in early February, winning all three as they got the better of Deportivo Saprissa, Municipal Grecia and C.S. Herediano. They returned to the States ahead of the Portland Tournament in which they will face Minnesota United, the New England Revolution and the Vancouver Whitecaps prior to the start of the regular season.
The Timbers will host the Loons on the opening weekend of the season, with their home opener coming on March 1. They will then host MLS new-boys Nashville SC a week later, before a road trip that features matches against New England and last year’s record-breakers, Los Angeles FC. Cascadia Cup adventures begin in late April as the club host both of their rivals, the Vancouver Whitecaps and the MLS Cup holders Seattle Sounders in the space of three weeks.
Following the Sounders clash, Portland go on the road for seven of their next ten fixtures, with trips to Minnesota United, Chicago Fire, Orlando City SC and Sporting Kansas City involved, as well as a road game with Real Salt Lake, the place of their playoff defeat in 2019.
The club’s final seven games in the league could be considered as one fo the toughest run-ins of all 26 teams, starting with a road game at CenturyLink Field, in their return game against the Seattle Sounders. They then face Los Angeles FC, FC Dallas, Toronto FC and Real Salt Lake, four post-season sides from a year ago, ahead of a Decision Day clash with Vancouver Whitecaps, which could seal playoff berths, and where the Cascadia Cup heads to for the offseason.
As the Timbers finished inside the top six in the Western Conference last season, they have been rewarded with a fourth-round entry into the U.S. Open Cup, as well as a place in the second annual Leagues Cup, a knockout continental tournament, where they will host a side from Liga MX in the summer.
With the additions that have been made to the Portland Timbers squad, as well as keeping key people around, could this be another season where they take a run at the title?