Minnesota United comes to Portland on Saturday—and the Timbers want to keep their party going.
Giovanni Savarese is back on the sidelines.
After serving a one-week yellow card suspension, the Portland Timbers’ sideline leader has returned and is looking to steer his team to a fourth-consecutive victory when Minnesota United FC comes to town this Saturday (7 p.m. PT, FOX 12 PLUS, TICKETS).
Midfielder Eryk Williamson also makes his return after serving a one-game suspension of his own against Atlanta United last weekend (Watch his press conference from earlier this week here.) With the team in good form and two home games remaining, the Timbers hope to take advantage of their Providence Park advantage a few more times before the 2022 season comes to a close.
Here are some things to keep an eye on Saturday night:
What to expect from Minnesota United
The Loons have run hot and cold over the course of its seven-season history and this season is no exception. After winning three games on the bounce, coach Adrian Heath’s men have lost two-consecutive matches by a 3-0 scoreline.
Minnesota United is hungry for any sort of result, but it has been awhile since they won one in the Rose City. The last time the two teams faced off at Providence Park, the Loons saw their 2021 season come to a close in the first round of the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
Forward Franco Fragapane will miss the game after picking up a red card in Minnesota United’s 3-0 defeat against FC Dallas last weekend, but the Loons still have plenty of well-known players all over the field in defender Kemar Lawrence, attacking midfielder Emanuel Reynoso (10 goals, 4 assists) and Luis Amarilla (9 goals).
Both teams last played to a thrilling 4-4 draw in the Twin Cities on July 30. That’s not the result the Timbers will be looking for at home; they want another win and they hope to capture it against the Loons.
PREGAME | Giovanni Savarese at training
Can the Timbers extend their season-high winning streak to four games?
Don’t look now, but with a win against Minnesota United the Timbers can pick up their fourth win on the bounce, which would extend the club’s longest winning run of the season.
Hovering around the Western Conference playoff line, Portland is hoping to take advantage of more late-summer magic with the end of the regular season in sight. Meanwhile, the Loons are slipping down the table with two-consecutive losses and sit just two points above the Timbers.
A win would go a long way toward helping Portland continue to cement a spot in the postseason and there’s no better place to extend that record than at Providence Park, where the Timbers haven’t lost since May 22.
Will Juan Mosquera make his Timbers debut?
Or at least that’s the mood around the Timbers’ Beaverton training facility as Juan Mosquera continues to integrate with his new teammates each day. The Cali-born defender is Portland’s fifth Colombian player, and that doesn’t include assistant coach Carlos Llamosa and goalkeeper coach Guillermo “Memo” Valencia, both born in Colombia, too.
When asked for his first impressions of the new signing a few weeks ago, Savarese called Mosquera bigger than he expected. The hope is that his physical presence and all-around game slots perfectly into the Timbers’ back line.
On Saturday, Mosquera may finally be able to introduce to his new fans at Providence Park. While that moment isn’t guaranteed, Mosquera is certainly closer to making his debut than ever –– it could present a fun storyline to watch for as the Timbers look to tack on three points to their season total.
Juan Mosquera: "I hope I can bring [the fans] a lot of happiness"