Timbers MatchDay: vs. Earthquakes

By Paul Danzer, Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter



Earthquakes at Timbers

Kickoff: 2 p.m. Sunday at Providence Park.

TV: ESPN2. Radio: AM 750

Tickets: portlandtimbers.com.

Timbers (8-8-10, 34 points) — Having finally inched their way above the playoff cutoff line with last week’s 3-0 win at Vancouver, the Timbers try to stay ahead of Vancouver with a home win. Portland is 3-3-7 at home this season with four MLS home matches left to play. The Timbers will be without Rodney Wallace, who is with the Costa Rican national team for the Copa Centroamericana tournament. Wallace did not play for Costa Rica in Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Nicaragua. Costa Rica plays Panama on Sunday in Dallas.

This is the first of three matches between the Timbers and Earthquakes, who play consecutive games at San Jose and Portland in early October. The shutout at Vancouver was only the third for the Timbers defense this season, with the other two coming against low-scoring Chivas USA. The shutout came with Liam Ridgewell and Pa Modou Kah paired in central defense for the first time. Fullbacks Alvas Powell and Jorge Villafana also rejoined the starting lineup at Vancouver. Villafana started eight consecutive games at left back earlier in the season before an injury. Powell — who scored goals in his last two appearances starting with the Timbers CONCACAF Champions League win in Guyana, made three starts early in the season but had not appeared for the Timbers in MLS play for 14 matches. After this match Powell will join the Jamaican national team for a Sept. 9 match against Canada but will not miss any Timbers matches.

Honoring Jimmy Conway — Fans will be encouraged to participate in a one-minute ovation during the eighth minute of Sunday’s match honoring Timbers Ring of Honor member Jimmy Conway. Conway, who played for the NASL Timbers from 1978-80 and was a longtime director of the Oregon Youth Soccer Association, has trauma-induced dementia. Sunday is the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Portland International Raceway. A team of Conway supporters will be among the participants.

Earthquakes (6-10-8, 26 points) — San Jose is winless in its last five games and sits eighth in the Western Conference. The Quakes have played two fewer games than the Timbers, but play seven of their last 10 matches on the road. Tommy Thompson, an 18-year-old homegrown player, has started the last three matches. Though he is seeking his first career goal or assist, Thompson’s impact has been important enough that the Quakes requested that he remain with them instead of attending a U.S. under-20 national team training camp. Chris Wondolowski leads San Jose with 10 goals, and has scored in five of nine matches since returning from the World Cup. Among the injured Quakes are pesky forward Steven Lenhart (knee) and defender Clarence Goodson (toe).