The Portland Timbers welcome Alpha United for the second and final meeting between the two in CONCACAF Champions League group play. The Portland Timbers are the heavy favorites going into Tuesday with Alpha United already eliminated from contention for the top spot in group 5. The last time these two faced each other, Portland came away from Guyana victorious 4-1.
Timbers coach Caleb Porter will field a very similar lineup to the one that gave his side a 4-2 victory against CD Olimpia, the other team fighting for supremacy in group 5. You can check out the highlights from that game below. It was an exciting affair in which Maxi Urruti continued his fantastic goal scoring campaign, scoring a goal in either half. Urruti, who also scored in the first match against Alpha United, now leads the team in goals in both CONCACAF Champions League and the MLS Regular Season.
The addition of a second striker proved successful for the Timbers against CD Olimpia, which was a different look from the 4-3-3 Caleb Porter put out in the first match against Alpha United. Both formations provided the Timbers with goals, but with Portland in a midst of a fight for the MLS playoffs and a short time until a match with Toronto FC, Porter will most likely choose the formation that he can rest the majority of his regular starters with.
The Timbers defense will be led by keeper Andrew Weber. Weber sits second behind Donovan Ricketts on the goalkeeper depth chart. Weber was cause for a halftime equalizer last week, but played well enough to most likely earn his third consecutive CCL start. Jorge Villafana, Pa Kah, and Alvas Powell all started against Alpha United last time, but have since found themselves in the regular starting lineup as of late and will most likely grant themselves some rest this time around.
Alpha United, of the GFF National Super League in Guyana, is playing for pride on Tuesday. United has yet to record a point in the 2014 CONCACAF Champions League, and has the second worst goal differential in the competition so far with minus-10. Playing in front of the Timbers Army will be quite an experience for United, just one they hope won't include too much green smoke.
Barbosa Murillo is United's lone goal scorer in the competition with one goal. It came against the Portland Timbers at the brink of halftime in their 4-1 loss. Scoring is the least of United's worries as they'll keep their focus on stopping their goal differential from getting more out of hand.
If the Caleb Porter can lead the Portland Timbers to a victory on Tuesday, he's setting them up nicely for a showdown in Honduras in which the Timbers can emerge from group 5 with a draw. But Caleb Porter knows to never take opponents lightly, and will make sure his team is prepared to take care of business against Alpha United.