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Portland vs. Toronto Preview | MLS Soccer Free Pick

MLS Soccer Predictions – Portland Timbers vs Toronto FC

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Onto the week’s MLS preview and prediction for the week.

Matchup: Portland Timbers vs. Toronto FC
Date: Saturday, March 26 2011
Time: Kick-off: 2:30 PM EST
Venue: BMO Field in Torono, ON.
TV: TSN
MLS Fixture Betting Lines and Odds from Bodog
Money Line: Portland +285, Toronto -110
Spread: Toronto – ½
Over/Under: 2 ½
Click Here for MLS MATCHUP Stats —>

After opening their fifth season opener with a loss in the first all-Canadian match in MLS history, the Reds will look to rebound against the expansion Portland Timbers when the two kick off at BMO Field on Saturday afternoon.

Toronto fell 4-2 to new Canadian rivals, the Vancouver Whitecaps FC last weekend at Empire Field.

The Whitecaps opened the scoring with the first goal of the club’s MLS history, when Eric Hassli finished a Davide Chiumiento cross that was deflected on by Atiba Harris.

Toronto made the match interesting by pulling level just five minutes later when Dwayne De Rosario’s hard shot found its way to the back of the net on a sweeping cross from Maicon Santos.

Vancouver regained the advantage at the 26-minute and added two more goals from Harris and Hassli in the second half. Santos finished the scoring with a long-range blast two minutes later, but it would not be enough.

Meanwhile, the Timbers began their MLS history with a defeat, dropping a 3-1 decision to the defending MLS champion Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

The Rapids took the lead after just eight minutes, and then extended it to 3-0 by the 30th minute.

Kenny Cooper saved the Timbers from a shutout, scoring the first goal in Portland’s MLS history, with 10 minutes remaining.

During the preseason, the Timbers had allowed just three goals in eight games, but this one got away from them.

Although the Timbers are newcomers to the MLS, the side features 10 players with MLS experience, including Cooper, whose goal was his first in MLS since June 20, 2009, his next-to-last game before moving to Germany.

Toronto’s defense has no answer for a Whitecaps’ attack while the Timbers, predictably, had lots of problems defensively, especially considering the lack of protection from the midfield whilst goalkeeper Adin Brown looked completely overwhelmed.

Matt’s Free Prediction: Portland should fare better against Toronto, but I’m leaning at backing the home side to win a high-scoring game by at least a pair of goals.

Matt Martz is a sportswriter for the Bakersfield Californian, the Oregonian, Springfield Republican, Sacramento Bee, and the San Diego Union Tribune. I leave handicapping to the pros. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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