New York City FC vs Portland Timbers Prediction, Betting Odds & Picks

  • Counters could once again pay dividends for NYCFC in the knockout round
  • Portland must rethink their attacking approach or risk suffering another average performance
  • An early goal could once again be seen by NYCFC to help set their gameplan on an ideal path

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New York City FC vs Portland Timbers Odds

The odds for this match are provided by BetMGM. Click on the odds below to head to BetMGM and place a bet.

Team Match Winner
New York City FC win +125
Portland Timbers win +195

New York City FC vs Portland Timbers Predictions and Picks

There’s much to be said about momentum in these kinds of tournaments, and after some questions for NYCFC in the group stage, things seemed to click a bit more for them in the round of 16 than Portland. It’ll be a close one, but pick NYCFC for the win.

Pick: New York City FC (+125).

How to Watch New York City FC vs Portland Timbers

NYCFC vs Portland Information
What New York City FC vs Portland Timbers
Where ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Bay Lake, Florida)
When Saturday, August 1st at 10:30 PM ET
How to Watch FS1, TUDN, Fox Deportes

If you’ve made this far into the quarterfinal stage of the MLS Is Back tournament, things must be working well, right?

Perhaps not on deeper inspection of Portland and NYCFC.

Although New York should be applauded for the early goal that gave them the time and space to sit back deep and counter, it doesn’t take too much time to find some worrisome performances in the group stage. Losses to Orlando City and Philadelphia Union quickly highlight the fact that despite their success against Toronto in the 3-1 win in the round of 16, this is still a team that is lucky to be in the knockout round.

What about Portland? They had a strong group stage run, but there was nothing strong or convincing about their narrow win over FC Cincinnati in the round of 16. Portland had serious difficulties with Cincinnati’s highly defensive approach, and were it not for an ensuing penalty shoot-out working in their favor, Portland wouldn’t be in the quarterfinal stage.

New York City FC Could Focus On Dangerous Counters

If there’s one thing we learned from the round of 16, it’s that NYCFC thrived on sitting back and taking their time with gradually building up their control of possession.

In a match that gave them an early goal in the fifth minute, NYCFC turned their attention on taking part in duels and throwing numbers back. Their team total of 68 interceptions was also the most that the squad has accumulated in a match since July of 2018.

What followed were dangerous and vertical sprints down the field that helped clinch two more goals and a place in the quarterfinal round.

A Make-Or-Break Situation Ahead For Portland’s Attack

What went wrong for Portland against Cincinnati in the round of 16?

Was it their shots? With Cincinnati sitting so far back, Portland was left launching far too many low percentage shots outside of the box.

Are inaccurate crosses to be put at blame as well? From their 40 crosses in the 1-1 draw that eventually went to penalties, only a measly four connected with players in the frontline.

Portland eventually found a way through the penalty shoot-out, but the result was still too far narrow for a team that shouldn’t have had any trouble against Cincinnati. Portland have to rethink and reassess the way their attack approached that match. If not, NYCFC might try a similar strategy.

The Potential Impact Of An Early Goal

In what could end up feeling like a chess match, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if Portland also play some mind games with NYCFC by sitting back themselves. Vice versa, NYCFC could also hit the ground running in the early stages and attempt to find another early goal that will help pave their way to another win.

Which isn’t a bad strategy.

NYCFC have the talent to pull this off, and after seeing what happened to Portland against Cincinnati, they might have just been given the perfect gameplan.

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Cesar Hernandez

Expert on Soccer

Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]