Timbers Match Day: Chivas USA at Portland

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

Chivas USA at Timbers

When/where: 8 p.m. Wednesday at Jeld-Wen Field.

TV: Live on Root Sports (Comcast cable channel 34 and 734).

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

Records: Chivas USA is 7-8-10, sixth in the West (1 point out of the last playoff spot). Portland is 8-12-5, seventh in the West (3 points out of the last playoff spot).

Why to watch: To keep their playoff hopes on solid footing, the Timbers need to beat teams competing with them for a wild-card berth. Chivas is one of those.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Portland Timbers

Forwards: Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza.

Midfielders: Sal Zizzo, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Kalif Alhassan.

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

Goalkeeper: Troy Perkins.

Key alternatives: F Bright Dike, M Darlington Nagbe, M James Marcelin, D Rodney Wallace, D Steve Purdy, M Peter Lowry, GK Adin Brown.

Chivas USA

Forwards: Juan Pablo Angel, Alejandro Moreno.

Midfielders: Jorge Flores, Nick LaBrocca, Simon Elliott, Blair Gavin.

Defenders: Ante Jazic, Heath Pearce, Michael Umana, Zarek Valentin.

Goalkeeper: Dan Kennedy.

THE MATCHUP

New look Chivas: Chivas has made several player moves in an effort to bring more creativity to its attack. It acquired veteran forward Juan Pablo Angel from stadium-mate Los Angeles. Angel, whom the Galaxy traded after signing Irish national and English Premier League standout Robbie Keane, had a goal in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Colorado.

Strong on the ball: Chivas is a veteran team that emphasizes possession. Portland wants to attack quickly when in possession — except when protecting a second-half lead. The team that wins more midfield battles will dictate the tempo of play.

“They’re a very organized group,” Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury said. “They’re a good team in possession. So we’re going to try to break that up as much as possible.”

Chivas has experience edge: Portland coach John Spencer noted that Chivas has a lot of MLS veterans, among them forwards Angel and Alejandro Moreno, defensive midfielder Simon Elliott, and defenders Heath Pearce and Michael Umana.

“(Coach) Robin Fraser has them very well organized, first and foremost,” Spencer said, describing Chivas as fit and strong.

NOTABLE

Scoring leaders: Chivas — Nick LaBrocca 7 goals, Justin Braun 7 goals, Ante Jazic 6 assists. Portland — Jack Jewsbury 7 goals and 8 assists.

Zizzo reunion: Portland wide midfielder Sal Zizzo played 10 games during the second half of last season for Chivas, and had one assist. He has started six consecutive matches and contributed three assists over that stretch.

Danso out: Spencer said that central defender Mamadou “Futty” Danso suffered a “small hamstring tear” against Vancouver and is expected to miss at least two weeks.

Injury report: Timbers — Out: DF Kevin Goldthwaite (knee ACL rupture); FW Eddie Johnson (concussion); FW Spencer Thompson (knee); Doubtful: D Mamadou Danso (hamstring); Questionable: GK Jake Gleeson (R elbow sprain); Probable: FW Bright Dike (quad strain); MF Jack Jewsbury (hamstring strain); GK Troy Perkins (hip soreness); DF Rodney Wallace (hamstring strain) ... Chivas USA — Out: FW Justin Braun (abdominal strain).

Suspended: none. Suspended next yellow: Port: Rodney Wallace. Chivas: Nick LaBrocca, Zarek Valentin.

FAN GUIDE

Tickets: Only a few individual club section seats remained on Tuesday.

Gates open: 90 minutes before kickoff.

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.