Timbers MatchDay: vs. San Jose

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

San Jose at Portland

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field.

TV: NBC Sports Network (cable Ch. 32/7324).

Radio: 101.1 FM (940 AM Spanish broadcast).

Where they stand: Portland (8-16-9, 33 points) is eighth in the Western Conference; San Jose (19-6-8, 65 points) has clinched the Supporters Shield with the best regular-season record in MLS.

This season: Timbers beat San Jose 2-1 on July 3 in Portland; The teams played to a 2-2 draw on Sept. 19 in San Jose.

All-time series: In four MLS meetings, Portland has one win and the teams have played to a draw three times.

Storyline: For San Jose, this is a playoff tune-up. For Portland, it is the last hurrah(?) for what has been a disappointing season. The one piece of intrigue is whether or not the Earthquakes Chris Wondolowski can match or pass the single-season MLS goal scoring record of 27 by Roy Lassiter. Wondolowski has 26 goals. On Sept. 29, he scored both goals to rally the Earthquakes to a 2-2 draw over the visiting Timbers.

Breast cancer awareness: As part of MLS and MLS W.O.R.K.S.'s Soccer Kicks Cancer campaign, the match will be played with a commemorative pink adidas ball.

Poster for fans: The first 7,000 fans on Saturday will receive a special 2012 Timbers poster.

Jewsbury, Horst honored: Jack Jewsbury's goal at Vancouver on Sunday was the runaway winner of the fan vote for MLS goal of the week. Also, both Jewsbury and David Horst were selected for last week's MLS Best XI.

MLS playoff picture: The 10 playoff teams are set, but a few matches matter. New York at Philadelphia (10 a.m. Saturday, NBC), D.C. United at Chicago (1 p.m. Saturday, NBC Sports Network), and Houston at Colorado will determine the two teams that meet in Wednesday's Eastern Conference knockout match.

Leaders: Goals — Kris Boyd (7) leads Portland. Darlington Nagbe (6) is second; Chris Wondolowski (26) leads San Jose. Assists — Eric Alexander (6) leads Portland. Franck Songo'o (5) is second; Marvin Chavez (13) leads San Jose.

Injury/suspension impact: Timbers rookie Andrew Jean-Baptiste figures to get the start at central defender because Eric Brunner and Futty Danso had surgery this week, and Hanyer Mosquera is nursing an injury. Up front, Kris Boyd is listed as questionable, but unlikely to play because Bright Dike has played well since taking over the starting role and Danny Mwanga has scored three goals against San Jose this season.

Question of the day: Can the Timbers treat their fans to a win over the best team in MLS to cap a difficult season?