Timbers MatchDay: at Sounders

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter



Timbers at Sounders

Kickoff: 5 p.m. Saturday at CenturyLink Field.

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

Records: Portland is 0-1-1, having tied New York and lost to Montreal. Seattle is 0-1, having lost to Montreal.

Head to head: In five meetings over two MLS seasons, Seattle has two wins, Portland one win and there have been two ties. The teams meet Aug. 25 at Portland and Oct. 13 at Seattle.

Timbers' tale: The Timbers seek their first win under coach Caleb Porter after opening with a draw and a loss at home. Portland won only once on the road last season (with four ties and 12 losses), including a 3-0 loss at Seattle. The Timbers started the same 11 players in each of their first two games. The five goals allowed through two matches is tied with Chicago and New York for the most goals against. The Timbers lead the league by a significant margin in both shots attempted (40) and shots on goal (16).

Seattle's story: The Sounders might be seeking their first win of the MLS season, and they might be without a couple of mainstays, but Seattle should be flying high entering this match. First, there was the spectacular second-half on Tuesday, with three memorable goals to rally into the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. Then came the announcement on Friday that Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins could be in Seattle in time to make his Sounders debut against Portland. Never mind that the 28-year-old hasn't trained with his new team. His speed alone will force the Timbers to pay attention.

Caleb Porter on preparing for Seattle: "Probably the best week (of practice) we've had in a while. Sometimes you need to suffer and be punished to get to work and really be focused."

Did you know? Portland won the Cascadia Cup in 2012, the trophy for success in matches among Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. Last season the Timbers had four of their six Cascadia Cup matches at home. This season, the Sounders enjoy that same advantage, while the Timbers play twice in Seattle and twice in Vancouver.