Timbers MatchDay: vs. Earthquakes

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

San Jose at Portland

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. today at Jeld-Wen Field.

TV: KPTV 12 (cable Channel 12/712).

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 (4-7-4, 16 points) is eighth in the Western Conference; San Jose (11-3-3, 36 points) has the best record in MLS.

Last season: The teams played to a pair of 1-1 draws; San Jose also won at Portland in a U.S. Open Cup match that went overtime.

Storyline: The Timbers once again try to jump start a flagging season. Beating the league’s hottest team would be a great bounce back from a horrible performance on Saturday at Colorado. It’s a tall order against a team that is on a roll and coming in off the high of a dramatic 4-3 win over rival Los Angeles on Saturday.

Wondolowski works wonders: In his 15 games this season, Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski has a league-leading 14 goals and might now be the best player in MLS. Through 15 games this season, the Portland Timbers have scored 14 goals — total.

Gordon returns: Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon (five goals this season) was the A-League rookie of the year in 2004 when he scored 17 goals for the Timbers.

Leaders: Goals — Kris Boyd (5) leads Portland; Chris Wondolowski (14) leads San Jose. Assists — Eric Alexander (3) leads Portland; Marvin Chavez (7) leads San Jose.

Injury/suspension impact: Portland will be without central defender Hanyer Mosquera, who will serve the last of a three-game suspension. Also suspended is Timbers MF Diego Chara (yellow card accumulation). D Eric Brunner continues to be sidelined by a concussion. Defender Rodney Wallace (ankle sprain) and MF Kalif Alhassan (hamstring) are game-time decisions.

Question of the day: With Chara out, will the Timbers play with the kind of tempo and toughness needed to win battles for possession — then keep the ball enough to have a say in the outcome?

Follow Paul Danzer all Timbers season on Twitter at www.twitter.com/col_timbers