NYCFC vs Portland Timbers preview: Looking for a Home Opener win

  • NYCFC will play against the Portland Timbers in their home opener
  • Here is a preview of the match

NYCFC / Soobum Im/GettyImages

When New York City FC and the Portland Timbers last played one another, the sides ended in a 1-1 draw.  In some ways, this was a favorable result, since the Bronx team has only beaten the visitors once, and that was back in 2016.  The MLS Cup does not count since the championship ended in a penalty kick shootout.

This time around, NYCFC will welcome the Timbers to the city for the club’s home opener.  The Pigeons have lost their first two matches, so not only will they seek to beat Portland for the first time in eight years, but also earn their first win.

However, on what is usually an exciting day for the club, the dark cloud of missing the playoffs last year and the current start of the season hangs over the city.  Supporters are doubtful whether the Boys in Blue can fix their scoring woes.  Additionally, the push for a coaching change continues to grow.  The faith in Nick Cushing is even lower compared to the end of 2023.

Maybe NYCFC will prove everyone wrong, and earn all three points against the Timbers.  Here is a preview of the home opener.


NYCFC and Portland will play one another on Saturday, March 9.


The game is at 2:00 PM ET.


The fixture will occur at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, NY. 

How to watch

Fans can watch the game on Apple TV via the MLS Season Pass.


This Saturday will be a cold and damp afternoon.  At kickoff, the weather will be around 44 degrees.  It will be raining, or the rain will develop as the match is played.

Injury report

Of course, Maxi Moralez is out (right knee) as he continues to recover from his ACL injury.  James Sands is not injured, but he is out due to his red card suspension from last week.

In addition, Rio Hope-Gund (abdomen) and Talles Magno (left knee) are also out against Portland. This week, Tayvon Gray is available.

Players to watch

NYCFC supporters should watch Thiago Martins during the home opener.  The Pigeons need the captain to lead them after the rough start to 2024.  The center-back should be watched to see how he manages and directs his teammates.  Plus, he needs to be spot-on in this fixture.  No mistakes can be made.

On Portland, fans should watch Eryk Williamson.  The American midfielder was on his way to becoming a MLS star when ACL injuries derailed his last few seasons.  He has started both matches thus far and has a goal and an assist.  He can be a problem in the attacking midfield, so NYCFC players must keep an eye on him.


Since this is the first home game of the season, it is better to be positive.  The Pigeons will need the crowd support, but it is predicted NYCFC will win, 1-0.  Goals will still be missing in action, but a mistake by the Timbers will lead to a lucky win.