Timbers MatchDay: at Real Salt Lake

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter



Timbers at Real Salt Lake

Kickoff: 7 p.m. today at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

TV: ROOT, cable ch. 34.

Radio: 750 AM.

Timbers (3-4-7, 16 points): The Timbers get a second chance to avenge last season’s loss to RSL in the Western Conference finals. In the first meeting this season, Ned Grabavoy’s goal in the 78th minute produced a 1-0 win for host RSL. Portland, in fact, hasn’t won the last 10 times it has faced RSL. Portland’s offense has come to life. The Timbers scored at least two goals in each of their last four games. Of course, the defense continues to struggle. Portland’s 24 goals against is tied for third worst in the league, which means the team might need multiple goals to get a result. Maximiliano Urruti and Gaston Fernandez each scored his team-leading sixth goal in Sunday’s 4-3 loss to Vancouver. Diego Valeri has three assists in the last two games and leads the team with seven. The Timbers traded defender Futty Danso to Montreal on Monday. Will Johnson’s goal from Fanendo Adi against Vancouver was voted MLS goal of the week.

Real Salt Lake (6-1-7, 25 points): Real Salt Lake is playing its third match in eight days. RSL lost 4-0 in Seattle last Saturday — its first loss of the season — and drew 1-1 at Columbus on Wednesday. Real is second in the Western Conference, four points behind Seattle. RSL is without midfielder Kyle Beckerman and No. 1 goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who are with the United States national team for the World Cup. Forward Alvaro Sabario suffered a broken foot last week with the Costa Rican national team. Joao Plata (hamstring), Robbie Findley and Devon Sandoval are also less than 100-percent fit, leaving RSL thin at the forward spot. RSL is 1-1-4 with backup goalkeeper Jeff Attinella playing this season. He has two shutouts. Joao Plata and Alvaro Sabario each have a team-high six goals for RSL. Javier Morales leads with five assists.