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Houston Dynamo FC travel to Providence Park on Wednesday to face the reigning Western Conference champions, Portland Timbers FC, in the final meeting of the regular season between both teams.  

Houston looks to build on their 2-0 victory over Chicago Fire FC on Saturday at PNC Stadium. Forward Thor Úlfarsson scored the opening goal of the match and earned Man of the Match honors for his shift against Chicago. Saturday’s goal was Ulfarsson’s second of the campaign and first at PNC Stadium this season. The final goal of the match came off the right foot of forward Darwin Quintero, who tallied his sixth goal of the season. Defender Adam Lundkvist found the Colombian playmaker in stoppage time and Quintero dribbled toward the near post to create space for a shot at the opposite post to secure three points for the Dynamo.

Lundkvist finished with four chances created and his assist on Quintero’s goal was his fourth of the season. The defender also cleared Boris Sekulić’s effort at the goal line with an acrobatic overhead clearance in the 80th minute. The backline was led by goalkeeper Steve Clark, who finished with four saves and earned his fifth clean sheet of the season. The MLS veteran needs one more shutout to reach 50 in league play. Clark would be the 18th player to reach the mark in MLS.

The Dynamo and Timbers played to a scoreless draw in the first meeting between both teams at PNC Stadium on April 16. Clark finished with two saves in his first meeting against his former club. The veteran shot stopper led the Timbers to the 2021 MLS Cup final and won the MLS is Back Tournament with Portland in 2021.

The Timbers opened a two-game homestand with a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. Sebastian Blanco and Jaroslaw Niezgoda score for the Timbers to secure a crucial three points for Portland, which enters Wednesday’s game four points shy from a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Dynamo return to PNC Stadium on Sunday, July 3 to host Charlotte FC. This is the first meeting between both clubs.

Here are three key points ahead of Wednesday’s game:

  1. CLARK ON BRINK OF MILESTONE: Dynamo goalkeeper Steve Clark needs one clean sheet to reach 50 in league play and will reach 200 appearances with his next outing for the team. The goalkeeper would be the 18th goalkeeper to reach the 50 clean sheer mark in MLS. To date, Clark has earned five clean sheets for the Dynamo this season, his first year with the team. The shot stopper returns to Providence Park on Wednesday to face Portland for the second time this season. Clark earned 18 of his 49 clean sheets with the Timbers from 2018 to 2021.
  2. LUNDKVIST KEY ON BOTH ENDS OF THE FIELD: Lundkvist was the sixth Dynamo player to earn MLSSoccer.com Team of the Week honors this season and the defender was rewarded after a complete performance on Saturday. The defender played a key role in Houston’s fifth shutout of the season by clearing Boris Sekulić’s effort at the goal line in the 80th minute on Saturday. Additionally, the defender finished with five recoveries, two tackles won and one interception. Offensively, the 28-year-old created four chances on Saturday, including his cross into the heart of the box that fell to Quintero for his sixth goal of the season.
  3. TIMBERS PIVOT FOR SECOND HALF PUSH: The Timbers snapped a four-game winless streak on Saturday when they defeated Colorado 3-0 at Providence Park. The Timbers have yet to win back-to-back games this season and look to earn key points as they make up ground for their 2-3-5 (WLD) start in the opening 10 games of the season. The Timbers have qualified for the postseason in five consecutive seasons and will look to extend that run in the final half of the season. The Timber’s schedule features favorable stretches at home like the four home games at Providence Park between July 17 and Aug. 6.