Portland plans to rain on Union

Timbers Army readies for harsh weather as MLS Opener hits Soccer City USA
March 12, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com

A year after opening their Major League Soccer home schedule in a constistend downpour, the Portland Timbers and their loyal fanbase might get another challenge from Mother Nature.

Wind and rain are expected tonight at the Timbers play host to the Philadelphia Union at Jeld-Wen Field.

The game, set for a 6:30 p.m. start, will be televised by ESPN2.

Portland played its expansion home opener on April 11 last year, beating Chicago 4-2 in a game that began with the Timbers Army singing the National Anthem. The Timbers Army is expected to sing the anthem again tonight.

Portland's roster has been bolstered by a number of off-season signings, led by the Scottish Premier League's all-time leading scorer, Kris Boyd, in February. Boyd scored just seven minutes into his first preseason game last week,

Portland had been viewed as an underdog to reach the 10-team league playoffs, but moved up considerably according to Sports Illustrated columnist Grant Wahl following preseason results. Wahl had Portland picked for sixth just two weeks ago, but moved the Timbers to fourth in the Western Conference on Friday.

Philadelphia, Wahl write, is picked for eighth in the Eastern Conference.