IM1.jpg
Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

After a well-deserved week off, the Timbers are back in action with a tricky Wednesday night tilt in Foxborough, Massachusetts against the New England Revolution (4:30 PM, TV on KPTV).

The Timbers will be without Diego Valeri, who is suspended after being controversially sent off against San Jose, but could get both Liam Ridgewell and Darlington Nagbe back to face the Revs. With a nationally-televised Sunday match against Toronto looming in the background, Caleb Porter has a number of calculations to make before his team tries to win back-to-back games for the first time in 2016.

The History

The Timbers and Revolution don't share much history, but the series has been favorable to Portland over the years. Last year's meeting was a good one — with the Timbers running out 2-0 winners at Providence Park after Fanendo Adi came on as a substitute and bagged a brace in the final five minutes plus stoppage time.

Portland's last trip to New England finished 1-1, and is only particularly memorable for one reason: the birth of the Ridgy Roll, when Liam Ridgewell celebrated his improbable equalizer with the log roll celebration that has become his trademark.

Since that day, we've only seen the Ridgy Roll twice more — once against San Jose in 2014, and last year in the Western Conference Final first leg against FC Dallas.

The Tactics

The Timbers can't catch a break right now. Just when Nagbe, Ridgewell, and Dairon Asprilla return to fitness, Adam Kwarasey and Alvas Powell go down with various hand injuries that will keep them out for the entirety of May.

The good news is that while Nagbe and Ridgewell were not adequately replaced, Powell and Kwarasey should be. Portland is more than comfortable with Jake Gleeson stepping into goal, and Zarek Valentin was terrific in Powell's stead against San Jose.

The Timbers will also likely be dealing with the absence of Darron Mattocks, who suffered a head injury after colliding with Victor Bernardez in the game ten days ago. Valeri's suspension means that Ned Grabavoy should keep his place in the lineup.

Porter has to decide whether to risk Nagbe and Ridgewell on turf in New England, when the alternative is saving one or both players the cross-country trip and playing them at home on Saturday. Either way, the Timbers will look to keep Jack McInerney — another of the breakout performers against the Earthquakes — involved in a meaningful way.

The Revolution, meanwhile, will be looking for a response of their own after they were demolished 3-0 by DC United on Saturday. The matchup to watch will be Diego Chara against New England playmaker Lee Nguyen — as Nguyen goes, the Revs go.

The Lineup

90 - Gleeson
16 - Valentin
4 - Taylor
7 - Borchers
15 - Klute
21 - Chara (C)
10 - Grabavoy
6 - Nagbe
11 - Asprilla
26 - Melano
9 - Adi

The Pick

The Timbers' advantage in rest will be cancelled out by the travel. On paper, the teams are evenly matched. 1-1 draw.