Timbers Match Day at Colorado

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

Kickoff: 6 p.m. today at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.

TV: NBC Sports Network (cable Ch. 32/732).

Radio: 750 AM (940 AM Spanish broadcast).

Where they stand: Portland (7-13-6, 27 points) is eighth in the Western Conference; Colorado (8-17-2, 26 points) is ninth (last) in the Western Conference.

All-time series: Colorado leads 3-1 (Colorado 7 goals, Portland 2 goals). Last season, Colorado won 3-1 in the Timbers' first-ever MLS game, then won 1-0 at Portland.

This season: On Friday, Bright Dike scored late in the first half as the Timbers beat the Rapids for the first time to leapfrog out of last place. On June 30 at Colorado, the Rapids scored twice in the first 22 minutes on their way to a 3-0 win over the Timbers.

Storyline: Both teams should be driven to go for a win in this one. Portland has not yet won a road game this season. The Rapids' 17 losses are the most in MLS. Colorado is 1-9-1 in its 11 matches since the June 3-0 win against Portland.

This and that: This is a rare second game within a week between the same two MLS teams. ... A win would give the Timbers three consecutive wins for the first time in MLS. ... The Timbers would reach 30 points and jump up to seventh place with a win. ... Timbers right back Kosuke Kimura will be playing against his former team for the second time since his July 5 trade to Portland. ... Timbers left back Steven Smith won the MLS save of the week award for his header off the line in Aug. 25 the 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Leaders: Goals -- Kris Boyd (7) leads Portland; Jaime Castrillon (6) leads Colorado. Assists -- Eric Alexander (6) leads Portland; Martin Rivero (8) leads Colorado.

Injury/suspension/international impact: Portland will be without Lovel Palmer (Jamaica), Rodney Wallace (Costa Rica) and Steve Purdy (El Salvador), who are on international duty for 2014 World Cup qualifiers. That leaves the Timbers without many options for relieving outside backs Kimura and Smith should either need to be replaced. Palmer's Jamaica team faces the United States on Friday in Kingston and next Tuesday in Columbus. Colorado forward Omar Cummings has also been called up by Jamaica and will not play.

Question of the day: Can Dike continue his late-season impact at forward? He has been the starter in the last three games and scored two goals while Designated Player Boyd has disappeared from the lineup.