Timbers MatchDay: vs. Sounders
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Seattle at Portland
Kickoff: 2 p.m. today at Jeld-Wen Field.
TV: ESPN (cable Channel 35/735). Note: Broadcast might start on ESPN2 (ch. 36/736) if England-Italy match goes long on ESPN.
Radio: 750 AM (940 AM Spanish broadcast).
Tickets: The sellout of 20,438 will include some 600 Sounders supporters bussing down from Seattle.
Where they stand: Portland (3-5-3, 12 points) is eighth in the Western Conference; Seattle (7-4-4, 25 points) is fourth in the Western Conference.
Last season: The teams played to a 1-1 draw in Seattle; Sounders FC rallied for a 3-2 win at Portland.
Storyline: The Timbers try to jump start a flagging season. The Sounders try to win a league match for the first time since May 9. The Timbers Army prays for a reason to sing.
The Timbers are tired of talking about potential and the chances they've missed. Seattle's defense, like Portland's, has been unsettled because of injuries and might be a matchup the Timbers can turn their way.
Fucito factor: Timbers forward Mike Fucito played in 23 MLS games over two seasons with Seattle, 19 of those last season. A popular player in Seattle, Fucito was traded to Montreal in the offseason then came to Portland in an April swap, making him the first player in the MLS era to play for both teams. He has played only 27 minutes over three games so far for Portland, but could be prominent against Seattle depending on the fitness of Danny Mwanga.
Leaders: Goals — Kris Boyd (4) leads Portland; David Estrada (5) leads Seattle. Assists — Eric Alexander (3) leads Portland; Fredy Montero (4) leads Seattle.
Injury/suspension impact: Portland will be without central defender Hanyer Mosquera, who will serve the first of a three-game suspension for throwing a punch late in last Sunday's match at Los Angeles. Eric Brunner continues to be sidelined by a concussion, so expect Futty Danso and David Horst to start at central defender, with Steve Purdy in reserve. Also out for Portland is defender Rodney Wallace (ankle sprain). Seattle has a longer injury list and will be without MF Alvaro Fernandez who drew a red card on Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City. Also, Sounders FC forwards Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson would have to miss Seattle's next league match if either gets a yellow card against Portland.
Question of the day: Will the stage and the stakes push Portland to attack with urgency and purpose that has been missing much of this season?
Follow Paul Danzer all Timbers season on Twitter at www.twitter.com/col_timbers