Saturday, June 24, 2023 3:57AM
New York City FC will look to end their 11-game winless streak across all competitions when they visit the reeling Portland Timbers on Saturday.
NYCFC (4-7-8, 20 points) allowed a goal in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time and were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against host Atlanta United on Wednesday, keeping the Cityzens winless in their past 10 league games (0-5-5).
NYCFC, who also fell to FC Cincinnati in the U.S. Open Cup during that stretch, haven’t won since a 3-1 triumph over visiting FC Dallas on April 22. The Cityzens are also still searching for their first road win of the season (0-5-5).
“The team is still taking a lot of positives from these games,” NYCFC defender Tony Alfaro said. “We know the situation we’re in. We know we’ve had some unlucky games. An example is (against Atlanta). But I think overall, we’re still trying to stay positive and keep fighting because it’s a matter of time before things start going our way and catch fire. I think we’re going to catch it at the perfect time coming midway through the season and end the season pretty strong.”
Gabriel Pereira has been one of the few bright spots for NYCFC. His two goals against Atlanta gave him a team-high six this season, while his three assists are two behind Richard Ledezma’s team-leading total. Santiago Rodriguez is second on the team in scoring with four goals.
NYCFC’s 10-game winless streak in league play is their second-longest in team history, behind an 11-game run of futility (0-7-4) early in the team’s inaugural 2015 season.
Portland (5-8-6, 21 points) conceded the decisive goal in the 83rd minute in a 2-1 loss to the visiting Chicago Fire on Wednesday.
The Timbers are 2-2-1 in their past five home games.
“Fans should be disappointed,” said Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese, whose team is 1-3-3 in its past seven matches. “Even though we put in the work and the effort, we didn’t capitalize on our opportunities. We fell asleep on their game-winner.”
Franck Boli is carrying Portland on offense, as he has scored all three of the Timbers’ goals in their past seven games. He has a team-high five goals this season, one more than Evander, while Santiago Moreno’s six assists are at least three more than any of his teammates.
NYCFC and Portland are meeting for the first time since the Cityzens won the 2021 MLS Cup Final in penalty kicks 4-2 following a 1-1 draw.
–Field Level Media
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