Timbers Matchday: vs. Whitecaps
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Vancouver at Portland
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field.
TV: Root Sports (cable Ch. 34/734).
Radio: 750 AM (940 AM Spanish broadcast).
Tickets: A sellout of 20,438 is expected. Check Ticketmaster for availability of extra and obstructed-view seats.
Where they stand: Portland (5-13-6, 21 points) is last (ninth) in the Western Conference; Vancouver (10-9-7, 37 points) is fifth in the Western Conference.
All-time series: The Timbers have two wins and a draw in the short MLS history of this decades-old rivalry.
This season: On May 26 in Portland the teams tied 1-1. Kris Boyd scored for Portland and Darren Mattocks scored for Vancouver.
Storyline: The Cascadia Cup — the trophy awarded for supremacy in matches among Portland, Seattle and Vancouver — is the last prize available to the Timbers in 2012. The Whitecaps are three points back of third-place Seattle and five points ahead of sixth-place Dallas in the scramble for playoff spots, so this is a very meaningful game for both teams. The Timbers lead the Cup standings with a win over Seattle and a draw against Vancouver for four points from two matches. After today, the Timbers remaining Cascadia matches are Sept. 15 at home against Seattle, Oct. 7 at Seattle and Oct. 21 at Vancouver.
Forward thinking: Scottish striker Kris Boyd did not play in Sunday's match at New York, only the second time this season Boyd has not played in a Timbers' MLS match. Bright Dike started at New York and scored his first MLS career goal. Interim coach and GM Gavin Wilkinson declined on Friday to say if Dike will be in the lineup against Vancouver. ... Camas native Brent Richards did not see action in the last two matches after starting each of the two previous games.
This and that: Portland is on an eight-match winless streak that includes six losses. The Timbers have not won since a 2-1 victory over San Jose on July 3. ... The Timbers have yet to take a penalty kick in league play this season. ... On Friday, cameras from NBC Sports Network were following Darlington Nagbe for an upcoming episode of its day-in-the-life series "MLS 36."
Leaders: Goals — Kris Boyd (7) leads Portland; Darren Mattocks (7) leads Vancouver. Assists — Eric Alexander (5) leads Portland; Camilo (5) leads Vancouver.
Injury/suspension impact: Both teams are without a workhorse in the middle of the pitch. Portland's Diego Chara and Vancouver's Gershon Koffie are suspended for this game for yellow card accumulation. For Portland, MF Kalif Alhassan (knee tendonitis) likely will miss one more game; right back Kosuke Kimura (broken nose) is expected to play wearing a mask.
Question of the day: With Chara suspended, will the Timbers win enough battles in midfield to allow Franck Songo'o and Sal Zizzo to push forward and pressure the defense (something those two wingers did well in last week's road games at Toronto and New York)?
Reserve League action: On Sunday at 6 p.m., the Timbers host San Jose for a MLS Reserve League match. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10. The largest crowd of the season for a Reserve League match is expected. Reserve League matches feature players who are seeing little or no action with the main squad.
Another perspective: For one man's opinion about what to watch for, check out community blogger Chris Glock at http://www.columbian.com/weblogs/portland-timbers
Follow Paul Danzer all Timbers season on Twitter at www.twitter.com/col_timbers