MLS: Hot at home, Austin FC host surging Timbers

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Austin FC will look to build on an assertive five-match home winning streak when they host the up-and-down Portland Timbers on Wednesday in a Western Conference clash.

Austin (6-4-5, 23 points) returns home after coming back to salvage a 1-1 draw at San Jose on Saturday. Brendan Hines-Ike scored the equalizer at the 45-minute mark off an assist from Owen Wolff after Austin allowed a goal in the early minutes.

Austin has earned points in six of its past seven matches, winning four times and drawing twice over that stretch, which has boosted the Verde to fifth place in the West.

Coach Josh Wolff said his team’s focus in the short week was having the correct level of freshness and intensity in the quick turnaround.

“It’s the midweek game for both teams,” he said. “So we will look to use the spirit and support of our fans and keep building on the positives that we’ve had.

“Our last six or seven games have been solid, and we’ve won four in a row at home. We want to maintain that fortress that we’ve created and obviously the environment will help us.”

The Timbers (4-7-4, 16 points) head to the Texas capital after a 2-1 win at home over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. Felipe Mora scored his team-leading seventh goal with a header in the 51st minute while Evander, whose sixth assist led to Mora’s tally, picked up his sixth goal this season with the match-winner in the 79th minute.

The win allowed Portland to garner consecutive victories at home for the first time in 2024. The Timbers are 10th in the West and have just two wins since March 9, with both coming over the past three weeks.

“We’ve seen improvements now over the last two or three weeks,” Timbers coach Phil Neville said. “The win (over Kansas City) was probably our best defensive performance in terms of our shape and our organization. I think we’ve worked really hard on that.”

The Timbers own a 4-2 edge over Austin in the teams’ all-time series, with one draw. Portland earned points from both the meetings last season, winning in Austin and drawing at home.

–Field Level Media

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