NYCFC vs Portland Timbers preview: Desperation time is here

NYCFC / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Does anyone remember when former New York City FC player, Gudmundur Thórarinsson, wrote a song at the beginning of the pandemic, and it was about how “good times” were “coming soon”?  Well, this is a song that can relate to the club right now, for good times are desperately needed.  After the draw against Atlanta United FC, the winless streak in Major League Soccer now stands at ten games.

As such, frustration is at an all-time high as NYCFC heads to Oregon this weekend to take on the Portland Timbers.  As many know, the last time the two teams met saw the Pigeons lift the MLS Cup trophy in 2021, right in Rose City.  Of course, the team that will face Portland now is quite different.  Moreover, the recent struggles make it difficult to see a positive result.

Although, Portland is not having the best season either.  The team currently sits in tenth place in the Western Conference, and has a record of 5-8-6.  On the other hand, the history between the two is lopsided.  Sure, the Pigeons lifted the MLS Cup, but they have a 1-5-1 record against the home side in all competitions.

So, let’s not hesitate.  Here is the preview for Saturday’s late match between NYCFC and the Portland Timbers.  

When is the match between New York City FC and the Portland Timbers?

The match will take place on Saturday, June 24 at 10:30 PM.

Where is the NYCFC game?

The game will take place in Portland, Oregon at Providence Park.

Where can fans watch the NYCFC game?

Fans can catch NYCFC on Apple TV via the MLS Season Pass. 

What can New York City FC expect from the Portland Timbers?

New York City FC should expect a struggling Portland team as well.  They have won once in the last seven fixtures, and recently lost against the Chicago Fire FC.  At the same time, after losing at home on Wednesday, the players will likely be striving to win on Saturday.

Then, the most threatening players on Portland include Franck Boli and Evander.  Both have five and four goals, respectively.  Boli has three of his five goals in the last five games, so he continues to become more comfortable in the league.  But out of all of the players, these are the two the Queens side must ensure they are unable to score.

But regardless of how Portland plays, NYCFC is in big trouble, for no matter what they do, they still find a way to not win. 

Which NYCFC player should supporters watch?

After Wednesday’s disappointing draw, NYCFC supporters should watch the bright light of the team: Gabriel Pereira.  He scored twice against the Five Stripes, bringing his season total to six goals.  His goals almost led his team to the win too, but sadly Atlanta was able to draw level with a few minutes of stoppage time to go. 

Still, even when Pereira is not scoring, he is always one of the bigger threats in a lackluster attack.  He also has three assists in 2023, so if someone could get on the end of one of his passes or crosses, then he could aid a teammate to score.

In addition, the Brazilian is having a similar season compared to last season.  So far, he has played more minutes, but only slightly, with 1,375 played in 2023, and then 1,346 in 2022.  He has six goals this year compared to the eight, and then 37 total shots compared to the 33 in 2022.  But, when looking at the number of matches, his 2023 season is stronger, for one is looking at his 18 games so far in 2023.

Therefore, will the brace in Atlanta lead Pereira to a solid stretch of games for him individually?  Will he score again, especially against a struggling Portland?  This is why fans should watch the winger this Saturday.   

What is the prediction for New York City FC?

There is no doubt that New York City FC should have won in Atlanta.  Yet, with the recent stretch, and the poor record against Portland, it seems impossible for the Pigeons to win.  The terrible road record also makes it improbable.

However, in an attempt to be positive, and since NYCFC has four draws in a row, the prediction is realistic and a glass half full.  The visitors will draw in Rose City, ending with a 1-1 draw at the end of the night.  Either Talles Magno or Pereira will score.

Stymied midfield could be reason for NYCFC's struggles. Stymied midfield could be reason for NYCFC's struggles. dark. Next

Frustration continues to build though amongst the supporters, and the need for a win is now.  The pressure is on, and the desperation is there for New York City FC.  Alas, a win seems unlikely, especially in Portland.