Timbers MatchDay: vs. Rapids

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

Colorado at Timbers

Kickoff: 4 p.m. Sunday at Jeld-Wen Field.

TV/radio: NBC Sports Network (Cable Ch. 32/732) / AM 750.

Tickets:www.portlandtimbers.com; 503-553-5555.

Where they stand: Portland has 6 wins, 1 loss and 9 ties (27 points), and sits tied for second in the West, one point back of first-place FC Dallas; Colorado (5-6-5, 20 points) sits seventh in the West.

Head to head: This is the second of three matches between the Rapids and Timbers this season. On March 30 in Colorado, Will Johnson's two second-half goals earned Portland a 2-2 draw. The third match between the clubs is Sept. 20 at Jeld-Wen Field.

Colorado has four wins and a draw in six meetings with Portland, and has outscored the Timbers 12-4. The teams have split two 1-0 matches in Portland.

Timbers story: Despite playing a scoreless draw on Wednesday at Los Angeles, Portland's 25 goals through 16 games still leads MLS. But defense is also a big story. The Timbers have blanked five of their last seven MLS foes, and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts' is tied for the league lead with seven shutouts. Ricketts hasn't allowed an opponent to score in 306 minutes, his third stretch of at least 200 minutes this season. The 0-0 tie also stretched Portland's unbeaten run to 14 games, giving Caleb Porter a MLS record string for a first-year heads coach. The Timbers became only the second team in league history to play 10 consecutive road games without losing. The Timbers next goal in league play will be their 100th in MLS.

Colorado story: The Rapids appear to be a team in transition. Last week, Colorado traded to Los Angeles Pablo Mastroeni, the franchise leader in games and minutes played and the captain of its 2010 MLS Cup championship team. Colorado has allowed two goals in each of its last three matches, generating concern among coaches and players. Rapids coach Oscar Pareja and defender Hendry Thomas each return after serving one-game suspensions during Colorado's 2-1 Wednesday loss at Chicago. Portland resident and former Timber Danny Mwanga has played in nine matches for the Rapids and has one assist. He has started five matches, but recently been used in a reserve role. Portland traded Mwanga to Colorado in March for a 2015 MLS SuperDraft pick.