Timbers MatchDay: vs. Earthquakes

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter



Timbers at Earthquakes

Kickoff: 8 p.m. Sunday at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

TV/radio: ROOT Sports (Cable Ch. 34/734) / AM 750

Where they stand: With two wins, three ties and a loss through six games Portland sits third in the West; San Jose (2-3-2) is one of five teams in the West who entered the weekend with eight points, one point behind the Timbers.

Head to head: In six meetings in MLS, Portland has two wins and four draws against San Jose including a pair of ties at San Jose. This is the second game between the teams in a week. Their third meeting this season is July 27 at San Jose.

Timbers' tale: A win at San Jose would mean the first three-game winning streak in Timbers MLS history. Portland beat Houston 2-0 and San Jose 1-0, both at home, in its previous two games. Argentine midfielder Diego Valeri, who missed last week's match with a head injury, is available. Rodney Wallace and Kalif Alhassan are coming off strong performances in midfield, so coach Caleb Porter has some lineup options to ponder. Portland dominated possession last week (64 percent) at Jeld-Wen Field. That type of domination is unlikely on the road, but to win the Timbers probably need to possess the ball more than their opponent does. The Timbers expect another physical test from the Earthquakes, who were cited for 12 fouls and three cards last week at Portland.

Earthquakes' story: After posting the best record in MLS last season, San Jose is off to an inconsistent start. But the Quakes have two wins and a draw in their last three home matches. Forward Alan Gordon is suspended, but that might not be good news for Portland. Figure that Chris Wondolowski, the top scorer in MLS last season, will return to a forward position after playing wide right in last week's game. If midfielders Marvin Chavez and Shea Salinas are fit to play, San Jose's attack from the wings figures to be more dangerous this week.