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Overlooked and Underloved: D.C. United-Portland Timbers

D.C. United v Portland Timbers

PORTLAND, OR - MAY 29: ‘Timber Joey’ , mascot of the Portland Timbers, cuts off a logs slab after theTimbers scored during the second half of the game against D.C. United at PGE Park on May 29,2011 in Portland, Oregon. DC United won the game 3-2.(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

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Everyone’s focusing on Friday’s match up between Sporting Kansas City taking on the Chicago Fire and then Saturday’s Vancouver-Seattle nightcap (insert contractual obligation to mention MLS on NBC here), but we’re going to argue that the Portland Timbers hosting D.C. United is the secret game of the week. We like challenges.

Oh boy. Here it goes:

* Timbers fans are, for real, totally awesome, even though their team is terrible. They are committed to making JELD-WEN “a fortress,” and they’ve succeeded. The Timbers have a +3 goal differential at home (and a -23 on the road).
* The Timbers are fighting for their jobs. They know Caleb Porter’s watchful eyes are somewhere.
* Ben Olsen is the best.
* United needs this game. They’ve won three in a row (side note: the Results Map is great), but they still could finish anywhere from first to sixth in the Eastern Conference. That’s drama, folks.
* Merritt Paulson will give you $100. We kid, we kid. We love the Timbers owner.