Life on the road can be demanding. That's something the Portland Timbers have learned all too well.
Faced with playing their first 12 games of the season on the road as Providence Park is undergoing renovations, the Timbers struggled through the first half of the trip, going 0-5-1.
But the defending Western Conference champions have won three in a row since, including a 2-1 victory last weekend at Real Salt Lake.
"I think that it took us a while to get going here," said Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark, who stopped a penalty shot at RSL. "Playing on the road every weekend it's difficult, but now we are a bunch of road dogs."
The Timbers (3-5-1, 10 points) will put that streak on the line Friday night at Vancouver (2-5-3, 9 points) in their first Cascadia Cup clash of the season.
"We are using momentum to get these points back because we lost a lot of points at the start of the season," Timbers forward Diego Valeri said. "Obviously we are expecting that first game in June at home, but you know, one at a time. Vancouver won this weekend and they are coming with some confidence, too. So it's not an easy game."
The Whitecaps are coming off a 3-2 road victory against Colorado as Fredy Montero had a goal and an assist and Andy Rose scored the winner after the Rapids tied the score on a pair of penalty kicks.
Friday's game will mark the first MLS meeting between Portland coach Giovanni Savarese and Vancouver's Marc Dos Santos. The two faced each other 12 times in the North American Soccer League, including twice in the final.
"It's special that it's Vancouver and Portland," Dos Santos said. "We could have been coaching any other teams. To be Vancouver and Portland -- that it's such a rivalry, me being on one side and Gio on the other -- it's quite special."
--Field Level Media