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Toronto FC aims to defend unbeaten home turf vs. Timbers
Toronto FC has yet to lose this season at BMO Field and hopes that advantage continues as it hosts Portland in Major League Soccer on Saturday.
Toronto (12-3-8, 44 points) is also unbeaten in its last five games and seven of its last eight, maintaining a three-point lead over Chicago atop the MLS Eastern Conference standings.
But outright victories have been harder to come by lately. Toronto FC is coming off last Saturday's 1-1 tie with D.C. United at RFK Stadium and has played to draws in three of its last four matches.
"Our objective is to win all our home games, first and foremost," Toronto head coach Greg Vanney said. "I think from a performance standpoint we've got to take a big step forward from our performance at DC. From a mentality and intensity standpoint, we've just got to be a a different level that we did down there."
Forward Sebastian Giovinco leads Toronto with 11 goals.
The Timbers (9-8-7, 32 points) are in a four-way tie for second place in the Western Conference and three points behind first-place Sporting Kansas City in a highly competitive race.
Midfielder Diego Valeri scored his team-best 12th goal of the season in the Timbers' 3-1 win over the LA Galaxy last Saturday. He's tied for fourth in MLS scoring and tops Portland with eight assists.
Valeri received MLS goal of the week honors for a go-ahead score last week against the Galaxy.
Timbers captain Liam Ridgewell and forward Fanendo Adi remain questionable for Saturday's game after leaving last weekend's match with injuries.
"With Liam, we're still evaluating it," Timbers head coach Caleb Porter told reporters this week. "It's less severe than we originally thought, but we won't really know for sure until we see how he progresses. ...
"(Adi) had a little bit of a cramp and he was sore after the game. ... We don't have any definite information regarding his availability for this weekend, but we don't think it's severe."
The Timbers will also be without Roy Miller because of yellow card accumulations.
Toronto leads the all-time series 3-2-2 and is unbeaten (3-0-1) at home against Portland.
Portland and Toronto lead the league with six penalty goals each. But Toronto has only allowed one, lowest in MLS.
Updated August 11, 2017