Timbers ready for some home cooking

Real Salt Lake poses significant challenges at Jeld-Wen
March 30, 2012
Portland scored three times in front of its home fans in the season opener March 12.
Photo by Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com.

After a solid start to the 2012 Major League Soccer season, the Portland Timbers hit one of their first key hurdles Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field.

The Timbers face Real Salt Lake, one of the Western Conference's title contenders, at 7 p.m., with both teams coming off disappointing losses.

Portland gave up a goal in the opening seconds last week and lost 1-0 on the road to the New England Revolution, while RSL fell 1-0 at home to Chivas USA, one of the teams viewed as being at the bottom of the Major League Soccer power rankings - along with the Revolution.

Portland enters at 1-1-1, 4 points, while RSL is 2-1-0, 6 points. Portland went 1-0-1 against RSL last season during its inaugural campaign in MLS.

Game time is 7 p.m.

The Timbers have struggled to open games, falling behind in all three contests this season. In their opener, they rallied with three goals for a 3-1 win over Philadelphia, then rallied for a 1-1 tie at Dallas in Week 2. Last week, the team failed to put home an equalizer despite contolling possession for 54 percent of the match. The Timbers fired off 13 shots and had an 19-10 edge in open cross plays, but could only get three shots on goal.

Real Salt Lake has wins over the Los Angeles Galaxy in LA, and at home over the New York Red Bulls.