MatchDay: Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter

Published:

 

VANCOUVER AT TIMBERS

When/where: 7 p.m. Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field.

TV: Live on Fox Soccer Channel (Comcast cable channel 401).

Radio: AM 750/FM 101 (AM 940 Spanish broadcast).

Records: Vancouver is 3-12-9, ninth in the West. Portland is 7-12-5, seventh in the West.

Why to watch: This is the first MLS edition of the Whitecaps FC vs. Timbers rivalry that dates to 1975 in the NASL. The Timbers need a win to bolster fading playoff hopes.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Portland Timbers

Forwards: Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza.

Midfielders: Sal Zizzo, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe.

Defenders: Mike Chabala, Eric Brunner, David Horst, Lovel Palmer.

Goalkeeper: Troy Perkins.

Key alternatives: M Kalif Alhassan, M James Marcelin, D Rodney Wallace, D Mamadou “Futty” Danso, M Peter Lowry, GK Adin Brown.

Vancouver Whitecaps

Forwards: Camilo, Eric Hassli.

Midfielders: Shea Salinas, Peter Vagenas, Gershon Koffie, John Thorrington.

Defenders: Jordan Harvey, Jay DeMerit, Michael Boxall, Jonathan Leathers.

Goalkeeper: Jay Nolly.

THE MATCHUP

Pressure on Portland forwards: The Whitecaps are coming off a dismal 4-0 loss last weekend to D.C. United. Both Portland and Vancouver have allowed 40 goals through 24 matches, reflecting inconsistent defensive play. The team that converts its chances — and there should be chances — will have the upper hand in this match.

Which team is truly desperate? Portland probably needs wins on Saturday against Vancouver and on Wednesday at home against Chivas USA to maintain any reasonable playoff hope. On the other hand, knocking their fellow expansion pals from playoff contention would be a highlight in a rough first season for the Whitecaps.

Schedule advantage? This is Portland’s third match in seven days, and second this week after only two rest days. Vancouver played (poorly) at D.C. United last Saturday, but this is the third of only four August matches so the Whitecaps might have more jump than the Timbers.

Spencer on the ’Caps: “Just like any MLS team, on any given day they can beat any team in the country.” The Portland coach noted that forward Eric Hassli has scored a couple of world-class goals among his team-leading 10 for Vancouver.

NOTABLE

• Scoring leaders: Vancouver — Eric Hassli 10 goals; Davide Chiumiento 8 assists. Portland — Jack Jewsbury 7 goals and 7 assists.

• Injury report: Timbers — Out: GK Jake Gleeson (hamstring strain); DF Kevin Goldthwaite (L knee ACL rupture); FW Eddie Johnson (concussion); FW Spencer Thompson (R knee); Probable: FW Bright Dike (L quad strain); MF Jack Jewsbury (hamstring strain); GK Troy Perkins (R hip soreness); DF Rodney Wallace (hamstring strain); MF Sal Zizzo (shoulder contusion). Whitecaps FC — Out: FW Atiba Harris (R knee surgery); MF Russell Teibert (R rib contusion); Questionable: DF Alain Rochat (L adductor strain).

• Suspended: none. Suspended next yellow card: VAN: Camilo, Alain Rochat.

FAN GUIDE

Tickets: Only a few individual club section seats remained on Friday for this game, and for Wednesday’s Chivas USA visit.

Gates open: 90 minutes before kickoff.

Traffic alert: Interstate 405 through Portland is scheduled to be closed this weekend for construction.

Getting there: Parking is extremely limited near the stadium. MAX light rail runs extra trains on match days.

Radio: 750 AM has one-hour pregame and postgame shows.

Follow Paul Danzer’s Timbers coverage on Twitter: www.twitter.com/col_timbers

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