July 28, 2018 / 12:14 AM / 4 months ago

Weather not the only heat facing Houston in Portland

How hot are the Portland Timbers?

So hot, MLS pushed the start of Saturday’s match against the Houston Dynamo in Portland back to 8 p.m. PT.

OK, that’s because of the heat on the thermometer as temperatures in Portland are expected to reach 95 degrees, but it’s also a fitting metaphor. The Timbers (8-3-7, 31 points) are scorching, unbeaten in their last 13 matches.

They twice battled back from one-goal deficits last weekend to tie Montreal 2-2 to remain unbeaten at Providence Park (5-0-3). Samuel Armenteros and Diego Valeri scored for the Timbers and share the team lead with seven goals apiece this season.

“They fought all the way until the end, and that’s what we want,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said. “We want a team that never gives up and we did that. They believed all the way until the end ... (it) was a good response.”

Not all is well in Portland as forward Fanendo Adi has asked to be traded, according to a report from MLSsoccer.com.

Adi, who has 53 goals in 125 games for the Timbers since joining the club in 2014, has just two goals in 13 appearances this season and has lost playing time to Armenteros. Adi hasn’t made a start since June 9 and wasn’t on the 18-man roster for either of the past two games.

When asked about Adi’s absence, Savarese told the Oregonian/OregonLive.com that some things need to be “kept between a player and a coach.”

Houston (7-7-6, 27 points) is coming off a 3-1 home loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday despite Mauro Manotas’ team-leading 11th goal of the season.

The Dynamo, who are winless in their last three matches, couldn’t overcome midfielder Tomas Martinez’s red card in the 59th minute, which came with the score tied 1-1. Houston has appealed the decision and his availability for Saturday’s match will be determined by the league.

The ejection came after a video review when Martinez, attempting to get on the end of a cross in front of the Philadelphia goal, appeared to step on Union defender Auston Trusty’s ankle.

“Right now it’s frustration, right now the guys are sad and upset ... because we work hard every day,” Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera told the Houston Chronicle. “But we have to have short memory and start a new day tomorrow.”

The all-time series is tied 4-4-4, though the Timbers are 4-1-1 at home.

—Field Level Media

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