MatchDay: Timbers at Philadelphia

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

Timbers at Philadelphia

When/where: 4:30 p.m. Saturday at PPL Park, Chester, Pa.

TV: Live on ROOT sports (Comcast cable channels 34 and 734). Radio: FM 101 (AM 940 Spanish broadcast).

Records: Philadelphia is 8-7-11, third in the East. Portland is 9-12-5, sixth in the West.

Why to watch: To make the playoffs, Portland will need to win several its five remaining road games. This figures to be a good chance to do that.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Portland Timbers

Forwards: Jorge Perlaza, Kenny Cooper. Midfielders: Kalif Alhassan, Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury, Sal Zizzo. Defenders: Lovel Palmer, Eric Brunner, David Horst, Mike Chabala. Goalkeeper: Troy Perkins. Key alternatives: MF James Marcelin, F Brian Umony, F Bright Dike, MF Peter Lowry, D Rodney Wallace, D Mamadou “Futty” Danso, GK Jake Gleeson.

Philadelphia

Forwards: Roger Torres, Sebastien Le Toux, Veljko Paunovic.Midfielders: Danny Mwanga, Freddy Adu, Brian Carroll, Stefani Miglioranzi. Defenders: Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes. Goalkeeper: Zac MacMath.

THE MATCHUP

The first time: On May 7, Futty Danso’s 72nd-minute header gave Portland a 1-0 victory, at the time the Timbers fourth consecutive home win.

Rookie keeper: Philadelphia rookie Zac MacMath saw New England score four first-half goals on Wednesday. MacMath was making his first career start in place of injured captain Faryd Mondragón.

Adu returns: Now 21, Freddy Adu signed with the Union on Aug. 12 and has been used as an attacking midfielder. He scored his first MLS goal in four years on Wednesday against New England. Adu is reunited with Peter Nowack, his coach at D.C. United when he signed as a 14-year-old in 2004.

Rested or rusty? The Timbers won their last two matches but haven’t played for 17 days.

“Some bodies were able to get healed,” captain Jack Jewsbury said. “I think now everyone’s looking forward to this final stretch of games.”

NOTABLE

Horst homecoming: Timbers defender David Horst grew up in Pine Grove, Pa., 150 miles west of Philadelphia. He said several busses of family and friends from his hometown will make the trip to Philly for Horst’s first match there as a pro.

“A lot of them have never seen a professional soccer game,” Horst said.

“It will be great for them to see that it’s possible for a kid from a small town to make it in a professional sport.”

Road woes: Portland has won only once away from home.

“If there’s been one negative, that’s been the one thing,” Jewsbury said. “We haven’t been able to get enough results on the road ... We know in this final playoff push five of our last eight are going to be on the road, so for us to make the playoffs we’re going to have to get a couple of results on the road.”