Seattle at Timbers
Kickoff: Noon today at Providence Park.
TV: NBC Sports Network, cable Channel 32.
Radio: 750 AM.
Timbers (0-2-2, 2 points): Winless in their first four games, the Timbers have scored only three goals, including one own goal. Captain Will Johnson insisted there is no reason to panic, that the team must keep grinding and keep shooting. “If we do the things that we’ve proven that we’re good at doing, the three points will be there for us,” he said.
Question is, who will be there for the Timbers? Darlington Nagbe and former Sounder Steve Zakuani are both nursing injuries and coach Caleb Porter on Friday would not say if either will be available. That could mean a start for Kalif Alhassan in midfield. Portland will have left back Michael Harrington, who had his red card from last week’s game overturned.
Fine form: Timbers coach Caleb Porter on Friday was fined an undisclosed amount by MLS commissioner Don Garber for comments made Tuesday about MLS officiating. Porter called the red cards issued to Harrington and Dallas midfielder JeVaughn Watson “ridiculous” and wondered why opponents get away with fouls that risk the health of Nagbe.
Sounders (2-2-0, 6 points): Clint Dempsey should return to the Seattle lineup after serving a two-game suspension. Dempsey played 90 minutes for the United States on Wednesday in a 2-2 draw with Mexico. Kenny Cooper, who played for the Timbers in their first MLS season, is in his first season with the Sounders. He has played in all four games, starting three, and has one goal one assist. Seattle will be without center back Djimi Traore, who is suspended after a red card last week. The Sounders injury list includes midfielders Brad Evans and Andy Rose, who were both listed as questionable.
Follow Paul Danzer’s Timbers coverage on Twitter @col_timbers