Chivas USA at Timbers
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. today at Providence Park.
TV: KPTV, channel 12.
Radio: 750 AM.
Tickets: portlandtimbers.com. A couple of hundred tickets remained as of Friday afternoon.
Timbers (6-7-9, 27 points) — Portland is seeking just its third home win of the season, a number that explains why the Timbers are seventh in the Western Conference. A win Saturday would move them into a share of fifth place, but Portland has played more games than most of the teams in the playoff mix, so its margin for error is tighter. Darlington Nagbe (knee strain) missed his first MLS match in more than two years when Portland lost 3-1 to the Galaxy a week ago. On Friday, coach Caleb Porter said he didn’t know if Nagbe would be available for this game. Gaston Fernandez, who left the Galaxy match, is fine according to Porter. Also available for the first time since late June is central defender Pa Modou Kah, who could play alongside Liam Ridgewell for the first time.
Chivas USA (6-10-5, 23 points) — Los Angeles’ other team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings, and thus even more desperate than the Timbers. Erick “Cubo” Torres is the bright light for this struggling franchise. The 21-year-old Guadalajara native is tied for second in MLS goals with 14 goals (Chivas has scored 21 total), giving him 21 goals in 36 MLS games. One of those goals this season was the late equalizer on April 12 when Chivas earned a 1-1 draw in Portland. Prior to its current string of three losses, Chivas won four consecutive games. The Timbers have never won more than two consecutive MLS games. Coach Wilmer Cabrera said his team played well in losing 1-0 to Dallas on Sunday. Cabrera said better support for Torres — in terms of passes into the penalty area and in terms of other players scoring goals — is needed for Chivas to find more consistent success. Marvin Chavez (2) is the only other Chivas player with more than one goal this season.
Follow Paul Danzer’s Timbers coverage on Twitter: @col_timbers