TIMBERS MATCH DAY: Portland vs. Toronto

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

Portland at Toronto FC

Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at BMO Stadium.

TV: Root Sports (cable Channel 34/734).

Radio: 750 AM (940 AM Spanish broadcast).

Where they stand: Portland (5-12-5, 20 points) is last in the Western Conference. Toronto (5-13-4, 19 points) is last in the Eastern Conference.

Series history: Last season, Toronto won 2-0 in March at home and the teams played to a 2-2 draw in July 2011 in Portland.

Storyline: The teams with the two worst records in Major League Soccer meet for the only time this season. In England, this match would be about trying to avoid relegation to a lower league, and thus mean more. Of course, the Timbers have not won a road game this season, so this is a chance for a breakthrough.

Lineup options: Gavin Wilkinson has tried several lineup and formation approaches since taking over as interim coach, but the Timbers have not won since John Spencer was fired. Franck SongoÕo, a consistent threat in the two most recent games, is not available for this game because he is suspended for one match for yellow card accumulation. Defender Steve Purdy (El Salvador) and defender/midfielder Lovel Palmer (Jamaica) are on opposite sides of WednesdayÕs international friendly in Washington D.C.

Ricketts in goal -- Donovan Ricketts, acquired from Montreal last week in exchange for Troy Perkins, is expected to make his first start for the Timbers. Perkins, by the way, had three saves in a 1-0 win over New England in his first match with the Impact.

Toronto schedule change -- Toronto was scheduled to play at Toronto on Saturday, but that match was postponed so that Crew players coulld attend the memorial for teammate Kirk Urso, who died Aug. 5.

Leaders: Goals -- Kris Boyd (7) leads Portland; Danny Koevermans (9) leads Toronto FC. Assists -- Eric Alexander (4) leads Portland; Ashtone Morgan and Ryan Johnson (4 apiece) lead Toronto FC.

Question of the day: Will the Timbers score a goal? It has been a MLS-record 697 minutes of road soccer since Kris Boyd put Portland ahead at Los Angeles on April 14.