Jake Gleeson, the 20-year-old who made his MLS debut against Toronto FC in Week 2, will appear in his third straight game, getting the start at goalkeeper for the Portland Timbers in their home opener against the Chicago Fire on Thursday. Gleeson started the season as the third-string goalkeeper, but injuries to expected starter Troy Perkins and backup Adin Brown opened the door for the New Zealand native.
In front of him is a defense that will include Mamadou Danso, who is making his MLS debut. Midfielders James Marcelin and Kalif Alhassan will be making their second career MLS starts. All of them will have to deal with conditions that are apparently pretty wet as it has been raining in Portland much of the day.
The Fire will counter with a team that is essentially the same as they started against the Seattle Sounders on Saturday. Josip Mikulic will sit out his second straight game, essentially forcing coach Carlos de los Cobos out of his preferred 3-5-2.
Timbers starters: Gleeson; Purdy, Brunner, Danso, Wallace; Hall, Jewsbury, Marcelin, Alhassan; Perlaza, Cooper
Fire starters: Johnson; Anibaba, Robinson, Gibbs, Segares; Nyarko, Videira, Pause, Pappa; Puerari, Chaves