For the first time in more than a month, the Portland Timbers will return home on Sunday to — with an assist from new goalkeeping signing Derrick Tellez — take on Orlando City SC (5:00 p.m., TV on FOX Sports 1).
With four games to go in the season — and three of those games at home — Portland sits just one point off of the Western Conference lead. Coming off of a hugely successful road-trip, facing an Orlando team all-but-eliminated from postseason contention, the Timbers should be licking their chops.
With their win over New York City two weekends ago, Orlando City now stands as the only non-expansion team that the Timbers have never beaten.
In the first meeting of these clubs in 2015 at Providence Park, Adrian Heath's expansion side handed the Timbers' a humbling 2-0 defeat — with a rookie by the name of Cyle Larin scoring the game-winner in his first career MLS start. He's scored 42 since.
Last year, Portland faced Orlando at the Citrus Bowl in early April and were hammered by a score of 4-1, with Jack McInerney pulling a goal back in the 89th minute to prevent the Timbers from being shutout by their former backup goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
The bigger picture, however, tells a different story as it concerns these two clubs. The Timbers won MLS Cup in Orlando's first season, while the Lions have never made the playoffs and won't again this season.
Caleb Porter said Wednesday that while he won't start this weekend, Fanendo Adi could return to training today and be available off the bench on Sunday.
The Timbers' other main injury concern for this game is midfielder David Guzman, who left the game at Real Salt Lake last Saturday with a tight quad and hasn't trained yet this week.
If Guzman can't play, Diego Chara — who was suspended last week — would likely take his place in the lineup, with Darlington Nagbe starting central and Dairon Asprilla wide right. If Guzman does make it, then Chara would likely come in for Asprilla and push Nagbe back to the wing.
The main tactical decision facing Porter is at left back. Roy Miller got the nod last weekend over Vytas, but this weekend, at home in a game that the Timbers expect to play on the front foot, the Lithuanian should get the nod. Jeff Attinella, who Porter praised for his second half performance at Salt Lake, is expected to continue in goal.
Orlando manager Jason Kreis expects to have center back Jonathan Spector back in his lineup for Sunday, and Kaka will return as well after serving a suspension in the team's 3-3 draw at Atlanta last weekend.
One player Orlando will be without is former Timbers captain Will Johnson, who has been suspended since he was arrested on domestic violence charges at the beginning of the month. His season — at the very least — is over.
1 - Attinella
5 - Vytas
24 - Ridgewell
33 - Mabiala
16 - Valentin
21 - Chara
6 - Nagbe
10 - Blanco
8 - Valeri
27 - Asprilla
11 - Mattocks
This should be all Timbers. Orlando has won just three of their last 22 games dating back to the end of April, and was eliminated from the playoff race weeks ago. Portland rolls to a 3-1 win.