Veteran midfielder Kevin Molino returns to United's starting lineup today in the first of two crucial back-to-back games against Western Conference opponent Portland at Allianz Field.

Back after missing last week's draw with Vancouver, Molino replaces suspended star Darwin Quintero, who is out for one game for yellow-card accumulation reached in last week's game.

Newly signed Robin Lod is one of the seven subs designated, meaning he'll likely make his MLS debut as a second-half sub.

Miguel Ibarra remains in the lineup even though he was held back some in Saturday's training because his hamstring was what coach Adrian Heath called a "wee bit tight."

The two teams today play for three points in MLS standings in a game with big playoff implications.

On Wednesday, they meet again in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal that sends the winner on to play Atlanta or Orlando for the cup and $300,000.

Here's today's lineup:

9 Angelo Rodriguez

10 Miguel Ibarra 7 Kevin Molino 13 Ethan Finlay

6 Ozzie Alonso 6 Jan Gregus

77 Chase Gasper 15 Michael Boxall 3 Ike Opara 19 Romain Metanire

1 Vito Mannone

Substitutes: Robin Lod, Brent Kallman, Hassani Dotson, Lawrence Olum, Mason Toye, Abu Danladi