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GAME THREAD: Portland Timbers vs. Philadelphia Union

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The anticipation ends, the season begins, and the question on everyone's mind will begin to get answered. In what ways will the Union disappoint this year? It's time to find out.

John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports
UNION GAME #1
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VS
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Providence Park, Portland, OR
March 8, 2014
10:30 PM
CSN - JP Dellacamera and Peter Pappas
Know Thy Enemy: Stumptown Footy
Starting XI
Darlington Nagbe, Maximiliano Urruti, Gaston Fernandez Forward Jack McInerney
Diego Chara, Diego Valeri, Will Johnson Midfield

Vincent Nogueira, Cristian Maidana, Sebastien Le Toux
Brian Carroll, Maurice Edu

Jack Jewsbury, Norberto Paparatto, Pa Modou Kah, Michael Harrington Defense Fabinho, Austin Berry, Amobi Okugo, Ray Gaddis
Donovan Ricketts Goalkeeper Zac MacMath
Andrew Weber, Mamadou Danso, Ben Zemanski, Kalif Alhassan, Michael Nanchoff, Steve Zakuani, Frederic Piquionne Bench Andre Blake, Michael Lahoud, Aaron Wheeler, Leo Fernandes, Corben Bone, Antoine Hoppenot, Danny Cruz
2013 Stats (Explained Here)
.509 (9th) TSR .515 (7th)
.528 (5th) DZR .524 (8th)
.531 (3rd) xGR .511 (8th)
Game Officials
Referee: Ioannis Stavrdis
Assistant Referee: Caleb Mendez
Assistant Referee: Andrew Bigelow
4th Official: N/A

After an off-season filled with moves designed to improve the Union's biggest 2013 weakness, their midfield, expectations have been raised for the local franchise entering its fifth season of existence. Their opponents tonight, the Portland Timbers, are an interesting team who underachieved in 2012 but overachieved in 2013. They did make changes in the off-season though with the intention of improving their attack.

If you're into late night soccer, this should be an interesting season opener! If you are still awake, feel free to comment in our game thread below!