The Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders tangle for the first time in 2014 on Saturday, playing a preseason match that kicks off at 5 p.m. at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
This is the third of four training matches for the Timbers during their two-week camp in Tucson. Portland opened preseason with a 1-1 draw with defending champion Sporting Kansas City, then defeated Houston 2-0.
The Sounders are 2-0 in matches at Tucson. DeAndre Yedlin and Brad Evans could make their preseason debut against Portland. Both were in the U.S. national team’s recent training camp, along with Timbers defender Michael Harrington.
Timbers coach Caleb Porter played many of his projected starters for 30 minutes in the win over Houston on Wednesday, with both goals coming in that stretch. That unit had goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, defenders Harrington, Norberto Paparatto, Pa Modou Kah, and Jack Jewsbury, midfielders Diego Chara, Gastón Fernández, and Will Johnson and forwards Darlington Nagbe, Maximiliano Urruti, and rookie Schillo Tshuma.
Porter has said he wants that unit to play 60 minutes on Saturday, with those who played 60 on Wednesday likely to play shorter minutes against the Sounders.
One player who will not see action is former Sounder Steve Zakuani, who the Timbers claimed in the re-entry draft this offseason. Zakuani and Diego Valeri are both rehabilitating after offseason surgeries for sports hernias. Porter told MLSSoccer.com that the plan is to have each make his preseason debut during the Rose City Invitational. The Timbers will host games on Feb. 23 against San Jose, Feb. 26 against Portmore United of Jamaica and March 1 against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Tickets are available for those games.
The Timbers open their fourth MLS season on March 8 at home against Philadelphia.