Training - Niko Hansen - 4.16.19

Improvement - and results - expected from Crew in upcoming stretch

A three-match in eight-day stretch stands ahead of the Black & Gold starting on Saturday, April 20 against the defending Western Conference champions in the Portland Timbers.

With emphasis on Saturday's competition, head coach Caleb Porter wants to see improvement through the upcoming stretch, but most importantly, results.

“We want to continue to see improvement, obviously in this next game, but we obviously have to get results as well, so that’s always a part of the equation is keep growing as a team but make sure we are getting points and results,” Porter said.

Currently the Crew (4-2-1, 13 pts.) stand in second-place in the Eastern Conference behind D.C. United, who comes to Columbus on Wednesday, April 24 in what will be the season’s most anticipated match-up to date following last year’s Knockout Round advancement over the fellow MLS Original in penalty kicks.

After a 1-0 loss at Montreal, the upcoming showdown with Portland - Porter’s former team - is a prime opportunity to bounce back and extend the Club’s 12-match unbeaten at MAPFRE Stadium across all competitions.

“Obviously we dropped the result last game, so we have to move on to the next game and we have two home games, so a great opportunity…to hopefully get back on track and get points,” Porter said.

With short turnarounds, guys should be prepared to hear their names called, Porter said.

“As far as our planning, we’ll have a plan for the three games, but we can’t look further than the next game because things change with regards to how guys feel and how the games go,” Porter said.

“So we’ll have a tentative plan. We’ll tell the guys ‘don’t be surprised if your name is called,’ whether it’s in the second game or the third game because we’ll have some rotation. How much rotation, whether it’s three, four guys, less, more, will depend a little bit on what we see in the game.”

Kickoff against Portland is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET at MAPFRE Stadium. Supporters can watch the match on FOX Sports Ohio, stream on FOX Sports GO, or listen on 97.1 FM The Fan or (English & Spanish).

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