Match Preview

PREVIEW | FC Cincinnati welcome Portland Timbers to the Queen City for the first time since 2019

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FC Cincinnati are set to host the Portland Timbers this Saturday, April 22 at TQL Stadium in Matchday 9 of the MLS season. Saturday begins a stretch for the Orange and Blue where four of the next five league games are at TQL Stadium, where FC Cincinnati are 4-0-0 this season.

Saturday marks Portland’s first visit since March 17, 2019, FC Cincinnati’s first-ever home match in Major League Soccer at Nippert Stadium. The Orange and Blue prevailed in that one, 3-0.

Saturday’s match will stream exclusively on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app. Visit here for more information on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. With the match being at home, fans watching on MLS Season Pass via Apple TV will have the option to switch to the local ESPN 1530 home radio broadcast as their audio source.

Saturday will also feature both teams wearing the adidas One Planet jerseys as part of a league-wide initiative on Earth Day Weekend to raise awareness about ocean plastic waste and eliminating CO2-emitting plastics production.

Tickets for Saturday’s match are still available at or by calling (513) 977-5425 (KICK).

Stream: MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app
TV Talent (English): Kevin Egan (play-by-play), Kyndra de St Aubin (analyst)
TV Talent (Spanish): Jose Hernandez (play-by-play), Pablo Marino (analyst)
Radio: ESPN 1530
Radio Talent: Tom Gelehrter (play-by-play), Kevin McCloskey (analyst)

Be sure to follow @FCCincinnati on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for live updates from the game.

Saturday’s game will stream on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app. No blackouts, no restrictions. Fans can also listen to the match locally on ESPN 1530.

To switch to the home radio audio:

  1. Click on the live FC Cincinnati match in MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.
  2. Click on the radio button located in the bottom right hand corner.
  3. Choose “Home Team’s Local Radio: English” to listen to FCC’s local broadcast during the match.

For more information on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, visit Each full-season ticket account will include one subscription to MLS Season Pass on Apple TV (one per account). Season Ticket Members should check their email for information. FAQ for Season Ticket Members

Don’t forget to swing by Washington Park beginning at 4:30 p.m. for a number of free activities leading up to kickoff, including live music from Model Behavior, FCC inflatables, face painting, food, drink specials and more. At 6:30 p.m., fans can join the high-energy march into the stadium with smoke, drums and chants.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, fans in Ohio can purchase 50/50 Raffle Tickets to support the FC Cincinnati Foundation. All tickets can be purchased online at or on the official FC Cincinnati app.

In the event of rain, for FC Cincinnati matches, fans may bring umbrellas into TQL Stadium, but they cannot be opened in the seating areas. Blankets are permitted at TQL Stadium. Blankets are subject to standard screening procedures. If there is a bag that holds the blanket, the bag must still meet the stadium bag policy.

For a full list of gameday activations and TQL Stadium information, visit the matchday guide, HERE.

To break down last Saturday’s match against St. Louis and look ahead to preview the matchup with Portland, tune in to FC Cincinnati Weekly on WCPO 9 this Friday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Every week, FC Cincinnati fans will see previews and analysis of the club’s next opponents, previous match recaps, profiles of players, coaches, fans and league news.

FC Cincinnati beat the Timbers in the lone prior regular season match, on March 17, 2019, 3-0.

The two teams met in the Orlando bubble at the MLS is Back Tournament in the Round of 16 – which did not count towards regular season play – which ended in a 1-1 draw after regulation, but the Timbers advanced on penalties, 4-2.

It was three points for the Portland Timbers on the opening day of the MLS season as the Green and Gold took down Sporting Kansas City at Providence Park, 1-0. But it’s been tough sledding since, as the Timbers have managed just five points from their last seven matches, including a 5-1 loss to Atlanta United.

However, an impressive 4-1 win last Saturday against longtime rival Seattle Sounders sets the stage for a potential early season turnaround.

Evander, Portland’s offseason club-record signing (reported $10 million), joined the Timbers from Danish club Midtjylland in December. But he has yet to replicate his dynamic attacking form with his new club. While with Midtjylland, the 24-year-old Evander scored 50 goals in 167 appearances and added on 37 assists. So far, the young Brazilian has just one goal through 348 minutes and five total appearances.

In fact, no Portland player has emerged as a go-to goal scorer. Nine different players have registered at least one of Portland’s 10 total goals with defender Juan Mosquera (2) holding a team lead in that category.

The heartbeat of the Timbers organization is midfielder Diego Chara. The 13-year MLS veteran ranks third all-time in club assists (30) and surpassed the 30,000-minute mark earlier this year against Atlanta United. Chara is the only player in MLS to reach that total with the same club and trails only Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando in minutes played. Chara has started and played every minute for the Green and Gold this season and figures to do so again on Saturday.

The Timbers’ slow start to the 2023 season can be attributed to lackluster road results and performances. The Timbers are 0-3-1 in away matches this year, conceding 10 goals while scoring just four. In fairness, Portland has faced some of the league’s best on the road with their away opponents holding a combined 15-5-11 record.

If there is anyone who knows how to get the most out of this Portland side, it’s head coach Giovanni Savarese. Now in his sixth year with the Timbers, Savarese led the Green and Gold to the playoffs in four straight seasons (2018-2021) while making two MLS Cup Final appearances (2018 and 2021). Savarese is Portland’s all-time winningest coach in the modern MLS era with 70 league wins.

WELCOME BACK Saturday will be the 134th MLS regular season game in FC Cincinnati’s history. It’s been since game number 3, back on March 17, 2019, that FC Cincinnati last played the Portland Timbers in regular-season competition. That match was FCC’s first-ever home game in the league, a 3-0 win for the Orange and Blue in front of a sellout crowd of 32,250 at Nippert Stadium.

Just six players remain on each club’s respective roster from that 2019 game, and all six of them started that day. For Cincinnati, it was Nick Hagglund and Alvas Powell – the only two players from FCC’s inaugural MLS roster who are with the club in 2023 – who started and played the full 90 minutes.

Portland had four players start that 2019 game who are still with the club: Larrys Mabiala, Cristhian Paredes, Sebastián Blanco and Dairon Asprilla.

UNDER NOONAN FC Cincinnati’s 5-1 loss last Saturday at St. Louis CITY SC was an outlier. Under second-year Head Coach Pat Noonan, in 42 regular season games, FCC have lost by 2+ goals just four times.

Prior to Noonan’s arrival, FCC were 5-35 in games decided by 2+ goals. Since then, the Orange and Blue are 6-4.

OUCH! No team in MLS has been fouled more than FC Cincinnati. The Orange and Blue have suffered 114 fouls this season. Meanwhile, Saturday’s opponent, the Timbers, are third in MLS on the painful list at 109.

The statistic is due in part to last Saturday: the 26 fouls committed by St. Louis CITY SC were the most by an opponent in FCC history (previous: 24 by Chicago Fire FC - 8/25/2020). Of the 26 fouls by CITY, six were against Yerson Mosquera, all in the second half, the most against one player in a single half in club history, and the most fouls total against a player in a game in nearly a year (Alvas Powell - 6 - 5/14/22 at CHI).

THE WILD, WILD WEST FC Cincinnati in 28 all-time meetings against Western Conference opponents are 7-16-5, and 5-7-3 at home.

But despite the loss to St. Louis, the Orange and Blue are 4-1-1 in their last six against the West overall, and 2-0-0 at home this season (Houston, Seattle). FCC are looking to make it a clean sweep in the three regular season home games this season against the Western Conference.

THE FORTRESS The Orange and Blue enter Saturday with an unblemished home record, having earned 12 points through four matches at TQL Stadium this season.

The only other teams in MLS to remain perfect at home in 2023 are LAFC (4-0-0) and Houston Dynamo FC (3-0-0).

THE STARS AND STRIPES Three FC Cincinnati players were with the United States Men’s National Team for the inaugural Allstate Continental Clásico, facing Mexico this past Wednesday, April 19 in Glendale, Arizona.

Vazquez started and played 64 minutes, while Miazga entered as a substitute in the 70th minute in the 1-1 draw.

Head Coach Pat Noonan on what to make of the Portland Timbers
"I think it's what you've typically seen from a Gio (Head Coach Giovanni Savarese) team and the Portland group ... they fight. They've certainly had moments of struggle early on this season. But to be down a goal at home against your rival or one of your rivals (last Saturday vs Seattle Sounders FC), and put four on them, it shows the belief in that group, certainly. And so they're coming in with real momentum, forget what their record is on the year, they had a really good result that is meaningful to the players, to the staff, to the fans. That re-energizes you when maybe the results aren't there. So they're coming in with confidence. And our group understands that, you know, we're coming in off of a poor result. It hasn't been a stretch of them, but let's learn from this and make sure that we come out in a better way against a team that will come in here and make things difficult for us."