M Yimmi Chara
Diego Valeri is gone and Colombian midfielder Yimmi Chara has been asked to be more of a focal point for the Portland attack. He had a pair of overhead kicks in the opening weeks of the season, but outside of those moments of brilliance, he's been a decent all-around offensive presence.
M Sebastian Blanco
Blanco is Portland's talisman, but he's still working his way back from injury. The former San Lorenzo winger has played just 99 minutes through four games this season, but when he's in the game, he's among the best in MLS. Almost all of his per 90 minutes metrics over the last year are near the very, very top in the league, and he can make a moment of magic whenever he's on the field.
M Santiago Moreno
Without Blanco, 21-year-old creative midfielder Santiago Moreno has had to take up more responsibility, and he's answered that call. Moreno has shown flashes of an elite playmaker in MLS or even beyond and he has the capability to break down a defense with a pass or on the dribble.
D Zac McGraw
You might've never heard of McGraw, but he might be the most important player on the field Sunday. Portland is without its top two center backs and Bill Tuiloma, who was starting next to McGraw, is joining his national team, New Zealand, over the international break. That leaves McGraw as the primary center back available on the roster. The former West Point man is having a strong season for the Timbers so far, but will have to lead the backline for the first time on Sunday.