Sunday, February 5, 2023
Feb. 5, 2023

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Timbers MatchDay: Philadelphia at Timbers

By , Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter
Published:

PHILADELPHIA UNION AT PORTLAND TIMBERS

When/where: 7:30 p.m. today at Jeld-Wen Field, Portland.

TV: Fox Soccer Channel (Comcast cable ch. 401).

Radio: FM 95.5 (AM 940 Spanish broadcast).

Records: Portland has 3 wins, 3 losses and 1 tie. Philadelphia sits second in the East at 4-1-1.

Why to watch: In its second MLS season, Philadelphia is off to a fast start with four wins and one tie in six games.

POTENTIAL TIMBERS LINEUP

Forwards: Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza.

Midfielders: Kalif Alhassan, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chará, Darlington Nagbe.

Defenders: Rodney Wallace, Mamadou “Futty” Danso, Eric Brunner, Jeremy Hall.

Goalkeeper: Troy Perkins.

Key alternatives: MF James Marcelin, MF Adam Moffat, MF Ryan Pore, MF Sal Zizzo, D Kevin Goldthwaite, D Steve Purdy, D David Horst, GK Adin Brown.

ABOUT PHILADELPHIA

The Union were added to MLS as the league’s 16th club in 2010 and posted an 8-15-7 record, 14th best in the league last season. They play at 18,500-seat soccer specific PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

THE MATCHUP

Watch for: Philadelphia has put a premium on defending. The Union have played five 1-0 matches and a 1-1 draw so far this season. The first goal — always significant — might be especially important in this match. Portland, by contrast, wants to push the attack, and will try to force the Union to defend the width of the field by getting outside midfielders Kalif Alhassan and Darlington Nagbe the ball quickly. The trick will be to avoid allowing a counter-attack goal against.

Coach John Spencer says: “As soon as we win (possession) or they turn the ball over, we’ve got to move the ball quickly. Don’t dwell on it. Try and get the ball wide as quick as we can and attack the fullbacks.”

Players to watch: Forward Carlos Ruiz, now 31, was the 2002 MLS MVP as a rookie with the L.A. Galaxy. Striker Danny Mwanga played one season at Jefferson High in Portland and two at Oregon State before the Union made the Congo native the first pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. Forward Sebastien Le Toux was a thorn in the side of the Timbers as a member of the Seattle Sounders when both teams were in the second division.

NOTABLE

• Returning to Portland could spark Mwanga and Le Toux if they are in the Union lineup, Spencer said.

“I think we need to be careful of guys raising their game,” Spencer said. “(The Union) are a real solid, professional, well-organized team.”

• The Timbers under-23 team kicks off its season on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Jeld-Wen Field against the Victoria Hilanders. Tickets are $5. Camas High grads Brent Richards and Nick Palodichuk are on the Timbers U-23s roster, but not expected to play this weekend because of college commitments.

• Injury report: Timbers — Out: FW Bright Dike (Achilles rupture); FW Eddie Johnson (Achilles tendinitis); FW Brian Umony (knee MCL sprain). Probable: GK Adin Brown (hamstring strain); DF David Horst (ankle sprain); GK Jake Gleeson (elbow sprain); MF Peter Lowry (knee MCL strain) … UNION — Out: GK Thorne Holder (concussion). Probable: MF Gabriel Farfan (toe dislocation); MF Stefani Miglioranzi (groin strain); DF Danny Califf (illness); MF Keon Daniel (foot contusion). Suspended — Union: Jordan Harvey.

FAN GUIDE

Tickets: As of mid-day Thursday, a limited number of club section $95 seats remained for tonight’s game.

Gates open: 90 minutes before kickoff for most fans.

Getting there: Parking is extremely limited near the stadium. MAX light rail runs extra trains on match days.

Radio coverage: 95.5 FM has one-hour pregame and postgame shows.

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Columbian Soccer, hockey and Community Sports Reporter