September 8, 2018 / 1:19 AM / 2 months ago

Short-handed Rapids ready for Timbers

The Colorado Rapids certainly needed that bye week.

After a 6-0 defeat to rival Real Salt Lake two weeks ago, the Rapids got some time to heal heading into Saturday’s match against the Timbers in Portland, Ore.

But it’s not injuries that will leave the Rapids short-handed.

Midfielder Kellyn Acosta, who has two goals and two assists in six league matches since being acquired by the Rapids, has been called up to the U.S. national team.

Forward Niki Jackson and midfielder Nana Boateng each received red cards against Salt Lake and will be serving suspensions Saturday.

“We’ve been looking forward to Portland for a long time,” Rapids defender Kortne Ford told Pro Soccer USA. “Ever since the last game against RSL, we’ve been looking to get that taste out of our mouths and move on.”

The Rapids (6-14-6, 24 points) are in 11th place in the 12-team Western Conference.

“Everyone is so hungry to get back in to Saturday,” Rapids coach Anthony Hudson said. “I think the confidence is still high. As tough as it was (against RSL), and it was incredibly tough for everyone, I think the lads still believed that leading up to that game we had a run of games there where we were playing the right way, we were confident, we were doing the right things, the team were working well together. We want to build on that.”

The Timbers (11-7-8, 41 points) enter the weekend tied with Seattle for fifth place in the conference, one point ahead of Vancouver.

Portland will be without goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, who pulled his hamstring in the second half of last weekend’s 1-1 tie at New England.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s a lot better than we anticipated,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese told The Oregonian regarding Attinella’s injury. “It’s something that we’re evaluating, but we think that it’s not going to take too long. It’s a matter of a few weeks.”

The Timbers will start Steve Clark, who was claimed off waivers from D.C. United in mid-August after backup goalkeeper Jake Gleeson suffered a season-ending injury. Clark spent three seasons as the starting goalie in Columbus before joining D.C. last season.

Diego Valeri tops the Timbers with nine goals; Dominique Badji leads the Rapids with seven.

The Timbers hold a 9-7-3 edge in the all-time series against the Rapids, including 7-1-0 at Providence Park. The teams met May 26 in Colorado, with Samuel Armenteros scoring twice in a 3-2 Portland victory.

—Field Level Media

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