The Portland Timbers have spent 427 minutes since they've last found the back of the other team's net—notwithstanding an own goal by Sporting Kansas City on April 21. In that time, the defense has compensated considerably; three of the past four games have been shutouts, and the Timbers defense has currently gone 206 minutes without allowing a goal.

But to put it bluntly, if you don't score, you can't win games. And Portland (2-5-3, 9 points) desperately needs a win against the Chicago Fire on May 20 at JELD-WEN Field in order to turn around the season. In the past four games, coach John Spencer has been utilizing an essentially defensive configuration to stop Portland's previously leaky backfield, but this has come at a cost. Diego Chara and Lovel Palmer are both essentially defensive center midfielders, which can make forward link-ups difficult except on mid-pitch steals or breaks up the wings. The centerfield marshaling of plays that makes for good opportunities has been absent for Portland in recent games.

Patrick Nyarko
Dominic Oduro
Sebastian Grazzini
Futty Danso’s
Jack Jewsbury
Kris Boyd
Darlington Nagbe
Kalif Alhassan