Timbers MatchDay: vs. Montreal Impact
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Portland at Montreal
Kickoff: 11 a.m. today at Olympic Stadium.
TV: KPDX 49 (cable Ch. 13/713).
Radio: AM 750 (AM 940 for Spanish broadcast).
Where they stand: Portland (2-4-1, 7 points) is ninth (last) in the Western Conference; Montreal (1-5-2, 5 points) is ninth in the Eastern Conference.
Last season: Montreal is new to MLS this season. The Impact and Timbers 15 played times from 2002 to 2010 in second division games. The Timbers were 8-4-3 against the Impact in those matches, including a 4-1-2 record at Montreal.
Storyline: Both teams are hopeful of creating some momentum with a win. The expansion Impact have not lost at home this season (one win and one draw). Portland is looking to win its second consecutive match after last week’s 1-0 home win over Sporting Kansas City that ended a four-match losing streak.
By the numbers: Montreal has conceded a league-high 15 goals. The Impact have seven from six different players. Portland has scored nine goals (led by three apiece from Kris Boyd and Darlington Nagbe) and allowed 11.
Out of their comfort zone? This is the eighth time the Timbers have played a MLS match in the Eastern Time Zone. Portland has four losses and three ties in games on the East Coast.
Timbers coach John Spencer said that he doesn’t have players change their watches or do anything else to acclimate to Eastern Time. “A lot of teams do that in the NBA, but we don’t try to complicate things” for a one-game trip, Spencer said.
The 11 a.m. PDT kickoff shouldn’t bother the Timbers, who regularly start practice at 10 a.m.
Injury impact: Portland midfielder Kalif Alhassan (knee) is not expected to play. But the Timbers are healthier than they have been all season.
Question of the day: What kind of shape will Portland be in? Against Sporting Kansas City, Spencer moved Lovel Palmer into a defensive midfield slot behind Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe. Palmer has been used mostly at right back since coming to the Timbers last season, but has extensive experience as a holding midfielder. His presence there adds a layer of protection for the defense and allows the other midfielders a bit more freedom moving forward.
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