Timbers Match Day
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Timbers at D.C. United
When/where: 5 p.m. Wednesday at RFK Stadium.
TV: Live on ROOT Sports (Comcast cable channel 34).
Radio: AM 750 (AM 940 Spanish broadcast).
Records: D.C. United is 9-12-11 for 38 points and currently sits 12th in the playoff standings. Portland is 11-14-7, currently 11th overall three points behind New York.
Why to watch: There is a way for the Timbers to lose this game and still make the playoffs, but it’s a long shot. D.C. must win to stay alive.
THE PLAYOFF PUZZLE
Four teams remain alive for the 10th and final playoff spot. If the New York Red Bulls (43 points) beat Philadelphia on Thursday, they clinch the spot. If not, Portland can get there. The Timbers’ best chance is to win twice, but a win and a tie might do it. Even a win and a loss could do it if the cards fall right.
Forwards: Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza.
Midfielders: Eric Alexander, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Kalif Alhassan.
Defenders: Mike Chabala, Eric Brunner, Mamadou “Futty” Danso, Lovel Palmer.
Goalkeeper: Troy Perkins.
Key alternatives: F Bright Dike, M James Marcelin, D David Horst, D Rodney Wallace, M Peter Lowry, D Steve Purdy, GK Jake Gleeson.
Forwards: Dwayne De Rosario, Josh Wolff.
Midfielders: Austin da Luz, Stephen King, Andy Najar, Clyde Simms.
Defenders: Daniel Woolard, Brandon McDonald, Perry Kitchen, Chris Korb.
Goalkeeper: Bill Hamid.
The last time: D.C. United never trailed and won 3-2 on May 29 at Jeld-Wen Field.
Timbers shorthanded: Midfielders Sal Zizzo and Darlington Nagbe are expected to miss this game with knee injuries. Zizzo left the Houston game with his knee injury. Nagbe’s injury is also believed to have happened against Houston.
Tough finish: After Friday’s loss to Houston in the last home game, Timbers coach John Spencer said his team needs to respond with physical touchness when opponents set a physical tone against them as Houston did.
De Rosario again: This will be the third time this season that Dwayne De Rosario has played against Portland — with the third different team. The veteran attacking midfielder opened the season with Toronto and was traded to New York before being traded again to D.C. United. He has 12 goals and seven assists since joining D.C. and is a big reason United climbed back into the playoff chase.
“When the big games come up, he’s ready to play,” Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury said. “Communication is going to be key for myself and Eric Brunner always knowing where he’s at.”
• Scoring leaders: D.C. United — Dwayne De Rosario 12 goals and 7 assists. Portland — Kenny Cooper 7 goals; Jack Jewsbury 7 goals and 8 assists.
Tough stretch: D.C. has l ost four consicutive matches, including surrendering two stoppage-time goals in Saturday’s shocking 2-1 loss to Chicago.
• Injury report: D.C. United — Out: MF Branko Boskovic (ACL tear); MF Chris Pontius (tibia fracture); DF Jed Zayner (knee sprain); Probable: DF Dejan Jakovic (R hamstring strain). Timbers — GK Adin Brown (concussion); D Kevin Goldthwaite (ACL rupture); F Eddie Johnson (concussion); MF Darlington Nagbe (R knee); F Spencer Thompson (R knee); MF Sal Zizzo (L knee strain); Probable: D David Horst (groin strain); GK Troy Perkins (hip soreness); F Jorge Perlaza (back soreness).
Suspended next yellow card — DC: Marc Burch. Timbers: Mike Chabala, Diego Chara, James Marcelin, Rodney Wallace.