Tonight, circa H1900, Portland's Mighty Mighty Timbers collide with the Ragin' Rhinos of Rochester, the USL First Division's most storied club—which unfortunately puts them at the top of a not-very-crowded category. The Men of the Deep Green have not had an easy time of it so far this season, as they adjust to a new coaching regime and a dramatically overhauled roster. Some guy named Romario aced the Timbers last week, followed by a loss to Occupied Colony FC in Port au Prince—I MEAN, Puerto Rico—making for an unfun annual tropical vacation.
Last year, the Rhinos used the Timbers for target practice at what I will call Civic Stadium. (Our home ground, as the Portlanders in cyberland know all too well, bears the name of a now-publicly-traded former Enron playing chip that kills salmon and steals our tax money.) Portland is espousing a "defense first" philosophy this season—in contrast to last year's "kick it hard, lads!" philosophy—which manifested itself with six goals conceded last weekend. So we shall see. The draw that some optimists are predicting on the Timbers Army boards would do nicely.