Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Portland Timbers | MLS Match Preview

VANv POR May 17, 20113

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USA TODAY Sports

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC vs PORTLAND TIMBERS

BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.

May 18, 2013 (WEEK 12, MLS Game #105)
4 p.m. PT (SNet Pac; ROOT-NW)

Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Portland Timbers meet for the first time this season when the clubs face off Saturday afternoon at BC Place. Whitecaps FC are coming off a 3-1 home win against LA Galaxy that snapped a seven-game winless run. The Timbers are still riding an MLS club-record undefeated streak, now at nine games following a dominant 3-0 home win against Chivas USA last weekend.

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REFEREE: Matthew Foerster. AR1 (bench): Jeff Hosking; AR2 (opposite): Eric Proctor; 4th: Drew Fischer
MLS Career: 11 games; FC/gm: 23.9; Y/gm: 3.9; R: 0; pens: 3

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: VAN: Johnny Leveron (through May 19)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Nigel Reo-Coker
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Ben Zemanski
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (MLS) (5 meetings): Whitecaps 0 wins, 3 goals … Timbers 4 wins, 7 goals … Ties 1
AT VANCOUVER (2 meetings): Whitecaps 0 wins, 0 goals … Timbers 2 wins, 2 goals … Ties 0
RETURN MATCHES: 8/3: Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 8 p.m. PT; 10/6: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Portland Timbers, 5 p.m. PT

LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/26: POR 1, VAN 1 (Boyd 67 – Mattocks 84)
8/25: POR 2, VAN 1 (Nagbe 41; Songo'o 55 – Miller 46+)
10/21: VAN 0, POR 1 (Jewsbury 39)

  • The Timbers have never lost to Whitecaps FC since the two teams have played in MLS competition. The Timbers have won four of the five meetings all-time, including both contests at BC Place.
  • Coaches record: Martin Rennie vs. POR: P3 W0 L2 D1 … Caleb Porter vs. VAN: first game

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC put an end to their winless streak after seven games in impressive fashion, knocking off the LA Galaxy 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at BC Place. Whitecaps FC sit in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with 12 points from 10 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Whitecaps FC opened the scoring on 63 minutes. After coming on as a substitute early in the contest, Russell Teibert opened the scoring, hitting a left-footed strike from outside the area past a fully outstretched Carlo Cudicini into the bottom left corner to finish off a long run out of midfield by Nigel Reo-Coker.
  • Teibert hit for his second and doubled Vancouver’s lead in the 76th minute, smashing home a ball teed up to him by Gershon Koffie in the box.
  • The Galaxy pulled a goal back in the 86th minute through Gyasi Zardes, who headed home a Jose Villarreal cross from the right flank for his first MLS goal.
  • But Whitecaps FC concluded the victory when Darren Mattocks pounced on a bouncing ball and prodded it home from close range in stoppage time.
  • Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie made two changes to the team that dropped a 2-0 decision to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Jun Marques Davidson and Darren Mattocks came into the team, replacing Russell Teibert and Corey Hertzog.
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-1-2-3): Joe Cannon - Lee Young-Pyo, Andy O'Brien, Johnny Leveron, Alain Rochat - Jun Marques Davidson - Nigel Reo-Coker (Brad Rusin 85), Gershon Koffie - Daigo Kobayashi (Russell Teibert 14), Darren Mattocks, Camilo Sanvezzo (Jordan Harvey 78).

TEAM NEWS

  • Whitecaps FC won for the first time in league play since March 9 in defeating the Galaxy. The win put an end to their winless streak after seven games, matching the longest for the club in MLS play since a 14-game streak March 26-June 11, 2011 (they also went seven games without a win last Aug. 15-Sept. 29).
  • “It’s the first win for the club against the LA Galaxy, so I think that’s a very significant goal that we talked about with the players a few weeks ago as an opportunity that we would have coming up, and that day arrived today,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. “We put together a decent performance in the second half, we took our chances when they came along and for the most part we defended quite well.”
  • After coming on as an early substitute, Vancouver midfielder Russell Teibert scored his first two professional goals. Teibert came on for Daigo Kobayashi, who suffered an ankle injury after just 14 minutes.
  • “It’s a blur. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was just overwhelmed,” said Teibert. “ … I always want to play in front of my family. So, I think it’s something special, for not only for them, but for myself, to be able to play in front of them tonight.”
  • Said Rennie: “It was good having him play on the inside right channel. I thought that he showed a lot of energy there and did well there. He’s played well in central midfield as well – he’s versatile, but certainly today he showed what he can do [in an attacking role].”
  • Darren Mattocks returned to the starting lineup and scored his second goal of the season, his first since March 23. Three of his last five appearances had been off the substitutes’ bench.
  • “It was important for him,” Nigel Reo-Coker said. “It’s always important for strikers to score, especially after they go through a bit of a goal drought. ... I told Darren you’ve got to keep going, for 90 minutes you’ve got to keep going, your chance will come and you’ve got to take your chance.
  • Said Mattocks: “Some of the best strikers in the world – we’ve seen [Robin] van Persie go 13 games…without scoring a goal. And he’s a world-class player, so anyone can go through droughts. But I’m not finding excuses. I just have to keep working on it – I’m very relieved that the goal has come. I just have to keep working hard and be focused.”
  • Johnny Leveron made a second consecutive start in central defense, alongside Andy O’Brien. But there will be a forced change this weekend as the MLS Disciplinary Committee suspended Leveron for one game following a reckless challenge in the Galaxy match.
  • “It’s interesting as the competition steps up, he seems to step up,” Rennie said. “ … (W)hen it came to the game against Salt Lake and also the games against Edmonton I thought he really defended well and showed why he’s got the caps he’s got for Honduras. He’s a really good addition for us and he’ll get better because he’s still learning the language, still continuing to get in better shape and getting used to his surroundings.”
  • On Wednesday, Whitecaps FC and the Montréal Impact reached a scoreless draw in the first leg of their Canadian Championship final at BC Place. The return match will be played May 29 at Stade Saputo.
  • Here’s the Whitecaps FC team: Brad Knighton; Nigel Reo-Coker, Johnny Leveron, Andy O'Brien, Jordan Harvey; Matt Watson, Brad Rusin; Alain Rochat (Erik Hurtado 79'); Darren Mattocks (Corey Hertzog 65'), Russell Teibert, Gershon Koffie

READ: Vancouver finds inspiration from unlikely source on Canadian Championship title run

PORTLAND TIMBERS
The Portland Timbers extended their MLS club-record undefeated streak to nine games, rolling to a 3-0 win against Chivas USA on Sunday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. The Timbers are in second place in the Western Conference with 18 points from 11 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Timbers took the lead in the 34th minute. On a counter off a corner kick, Rodney Wallace broke free down the left wing on a perfectly-timed feed from Ryan Johnson, then beat his defender and finished inside the far post with a nifty left-footed lob.
  • The Timbers put the game away in the 70th minute when Wallace and Darlington Nagbe teamed up to unlock the Chivas defense with a series of passes at the top of the area. Wallace fed Diego Valeri on a perfectly timed through ball, and he easily beat Chivas goalkeeper Patrick McLain from the heart of the area.
  • Portland completed the rout in stoppage time, when Will Johnson latched onto a short corner and hit a beautifully struck, right-footed shot from the left corner of the area that curled inside the far post past the outstretched arms of McLain.
  • Timbers head coach Caleb Porter made two changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas in Frisco. Ryan Johnson and Rodney Wallace came back into the team in place of Frederic Piquionne and Kalif Alhassan.
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts - Jack Jewsbury (Ben Zemanski 74), Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Mamadou Danso, Michael Harrington (Frederic Piquionne 83) - Diego Chara, Will Johnson - Darlington Nagbe (Kalif Alhassan 71), Diego Valeri, Rodney Wallace - Ryan Johnson.

READ: Timbers defender Mikael Silvestre undergoes knee surgery, out 6-9 months

TEAM NEWS

  • The Timbers stretched their MLS club-record undefeated streak to nine games in the win vs. Chivas USA, now 4-0-5 since a 2-1 home loss to the Montréal Impact on March 9.
  • “It’s been a good third of the season and we have made a lot of progress, and we’re in good position pointswise, but it’s a very tight race in this conference,” said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. “For me it was a good performance. There is still a lot more left in the tank. To me we are just scratching the surface.”
  • Diego Valeri set up two of the Timbers goals vs. Chivas and scored one himself. He is now tied for the league lead in assists with four, along with Real Salt Lake’s Joao Plata and Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi.
  • “A lot of our players right now, it’s real simple, they’re enjoying their football,” Porter said. “They’re enjoying it. The more you enjoy playing this game, the better you play. I tell them to go out and be free, just play.”
  • Rodney Wallace also scored a goal and added an assist. Wallace now has three goals on the season, matching his career-high set in 2009 with D.C. United in his first year. He now has two goals and two assists over the last four matches, having started only three of those.
  • “Rodney Wallace is having a breakout year,” Porter said. “I’m not sure why he hasn’t had a breakout year up to this point because I think clearly he is one of the better wingers in the league. He’s really flourishing.”
  • Will Johnson also added his fourth goal of the season, the midfielder now level with striker Ryan Johnson for the Timbers team lead.
  • “[Will Johnson and Diego Chara] are, for me, dominant box-to-box midfielders. They have been bringing it every single game. They are in a position where they don’t always show up on the score sheet, but they are the heart of our team, they are the engine room,” said Porter. “It was good for Will to get a goal today, but there were a lot of moments where Diego Chara slashed forward and could’ve had assists. Those two guys are putting work in and it’s really making us go.”
  • The Timbers also kept a fourth clean sheet in the last seven matches, having allowed just four goals over that span.
  • “Once the communication gets going, we keep covering up for each other and that helps the team. I think that’s why we are getting results this year,” said defender Futty Danso. “[Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts] gives you a ton of confidence. You know there is less of chance that someone will score when you have someone like him behind you. Playing in front of Donovan is like having a fifth defender with you.”