MLS is Back: Philadelphia Union vs. Portland Timbers Preview and Picks

Venue: Talen Energy Stadium (Chester)

Time: 8 pm ET

Arguably the toughest team in the entire MLS is Back tournament, Philadelphia Union is facing the 2015 MLS Cup winners, Portland Timbers. This is the first semifinals, and many expect to see one fierce battle between two sides who prefer a different style of football.

Philadelphia Union (+270)

After a bit mild start, in which nobody noticed this team, Philly slowly became one of the nastiest teams in Orlando. They have four wins and a draw during the tournament, not winning that single match against the Lions who are in the second semifinal pair.

The latest victory, vs, Sporting Kansas City in the quarterfinals, 3-1 was the only in which they hadn’t triumphed with a one-goal margin.

Creavalle is questionable for this event.

Portland Timbers (+250)

An experienced side, who has one trophy and one MLS Cup finals is back and wants to avenge the 2018 defeat against Atlanta United. Sebastian Blanco-Diego Valeri duo is working flawlessly, and these two guys got help in several other additions that fit in perfectly.

Round of 16 game, against the FC Cincinnati was the sole one here in Orlando in which Portland failed to score two or more goals. Without a doubt, they had the toughest path in the previous stages, facing both teams from LA, as well as New York City FC and Dynamo.

The contest against Cincy is the only which ended under 2.5 goals.

Asprilla is not playing, Farfan and Flores are doubtful.

Head to Head

Portland has four straight wins over Union, and in each one, Timbers scored at least twice; in the previous three, they netted three times.

When looking at the efficiency, five in a row right now all ended over 2.5 goals.

Pick

Even though the Union seems to be tough in the back, Portland is a more experienced crew, and they already know how to play games like these. Also, it needs to be said that up until this point, Philly didn’t have an opponent of Timbers’ quality. Valeri, Blanco, Niezgoda, Ebobisse, all these guys are creating an unreal pressure on the rival’s defensive line, which is why betting on Portland seems to be a rational decision.

The moneyline on Timbers’ win is at +150, and that is more than enough.