Timbers MatchDay: vs. Chivas USA
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Chivas USA at Portland
Kickoff: 8 p.m. today 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 (5-11-4, 19 points) is last (ninth) in the Western Conference; Chivas USA (6-8-5, 23 points) is sixth in the Western Conference.
All-time series: Chivas leads 3-1, with no ties (Chivas 4 goals, Portland 2 goals).
This season: Chivas won 2-1 on April 7 at Portland and 1-0 on July 18 in Carson, Calif.
Storyline: The Timbers are trying to salvage their season, halt a four-match losing streak, and avoid being swept by a club that is not considered one of the MLS powers. Chivas is trying to rebound from a 3-1 loss last Saturday to the Galaxy, their Home Depot Center rival. That was only the Goats' second loss in a 10-game stretch.
Wilkinson on the stakes: "We can't let them beat us three times. It's a matter of pride. ... I think if we come out and play as well as we can, we will win."
Formation declaration: Wilkinson said he isn't seeking a formation for the long run, but rather will set his lineup specifically to match each opponent. "Not being able to dominate the game, and not being able to enforce ourselves on the opponent, we've got to make small adjustments," Wilkinson said.
Leaders: Goals — Kris Boyd (7) leads Portland; Juan Pablo Angel (3) leads Chivas. Assists — Eric Alexander (4) leads Portland; Ryan Smith (3, 2 vs. Portland) leads Chivas.
Injury/suspension impact: For Portland, central defender Eric Brunner (concussion) practiced on Friday but remains out of games; backup goalkeeper Jake Gleeson is at the Olympics with New Zealand. But the Timbers are more healthy than they've usually been this season. Chivas is missing midfielders Marvin Iraheta, Oswaldo Minda, Peter Vagenas and Ryan Smith. But forward Juan Agudelo could return from injury.
Question of the day: Will the Timbers defend their flanks? Ryan Smith, who has set up all three Chivas goals against Portland this season, is out with a hamstring injury. But the Goats still figure to try to attack the Timbers wide players.
Traffic alert: Southbound I-5 is closed all weekend between the Fremont and Marquam bridges in Portland, which might slow the drive to the stadium.
Follow Paul Danzer all Timbers season on Twitter at www.twitter.com/col_timbers