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Final

Philadelphia Union vs. Portland Timbers | MLS Match Preview

PHILADELPHIA UNION vs PORTLAND TIMBERS
PPL PARK, Chester, Pa.
July 20, 2013 (WEEK 21, MLS Game #189) 7:30 p.m. ET (CSN-Phi; KPDX/Estrella)

Philadelphia Union continue their two-game homestand with a huge match, playing host to the Portland Timbers at PPL Park on Saturday evening. Union snapped their three-game winless run last weekend, coming back for a 3-1 win against Chivas USA. The Timbers bounced back from seeing their record-breaking undefeated run come to an end with a dramatic victory, in a 2-1 home win against the LA Galaxy last weekend.

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REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. AR1 (bench): Brian Poeschel; AR2 (opposite): Kevin Klinger; 4th: Ted Unkel
MLS Career: 171 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 50; pens: 59

DISABLED LIST: PHI: Greg Jordan
SUSPENDED: PHI: John Hackworth (head coach; through July 20)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: PHI: Brian Carroll, Conor Casey … POR: Diego Chara, Ben Zemanski
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: PHI: Raymon Gaddis, Michael Farfan, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo … POR: Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Will Johnson, Pa Modou Kah INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: PHI: Keon Daniel (TRI) … POR: Rodney Wallace (CRC)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Timbers 2 wins, 4 goal … Union 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 1
AT PHILADELPHIA (1 meeting): Timbers 0 wins, 0 goals … Union 0 wins, 0 goals … Ties 1

LAST YEAR (MLS)
3/12: POR 3, PHI 1 (Jean-Baptiste 54; Boyd 66; Alhassan 76 – Gomez 51)

  • The teams are meeting for the only time this season in league play.
  • The Timbers are unbeaten against Union, with two victories and a draw. Portland has won both encounters lifetime at Jeld-Wen Field, including a 3-1 victory last year in the only contest between the clubs.
  • Coaches record: John Hackworth vs. POR: first game … Caleb Porter v PHI: first game

PHILADELPHIA UNION
Philadelphia Union put an end to their winless run at three games, coming back for a 3-1 win against Chivas USA on Friday evening at PPL Park. Union sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 30 points from 20 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Chivas went on top in the 14th minute. Union center back Amobi Okugo slipped while defending Jorge Villafana, and he then pulled out Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath and played a ball across the box to Jose Correa, who easily tapped home from the spot.
  • Philadelphia got the equalizer in the 58th minute. A Conor Casey header from a Sebastien Le Toux cross skipped into the back of the net after deflecting off the back of Brian Carroll.
  • The match turned when Josue Soto was whistled for an illegal back-pass to the goalkeeper. In the aftermath as the Chivas USA players protested, Soto was issued his second yellow card and given his marching orders.
  • Union took advantage of the ensuing indirect free kick from seven yards out, with Le Toux tapping the ball to Michael Farfan, who roofed home his first goal of the season on 82 minutes.
  • Casey added an insurance goal in the 89th minute – his seventh of the year – tapping home on an assist from transfer-window signing Fabinho.
  • Union team manager John Hackworth made two changes to the team that fell 1-0 to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Michael Farfan and Danny Cruz came into the side, in place of Antoine Hoppenot and Aaron Wheeler.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis - Michael Farfan, Brian Carroll - Sebastien Le Toux (Matt Kassel 92+), Leo Fernandes (Antoine Hoppenot 70), Danny Cruz (Fabinho 78) - Conor Casey.

TEAM NEWS

  • Union put an end to their three-game winless slide with the victory, while also extending their current undefeated streak at PPL Park to five league matches (4-0-1).
  • “I like our character. I like the way we prepare. I like the way we don’t give up at all. I like our resilience when we come off a poor performance,” said Union manager John Hackworth. “So we started well and then we gave up a silly goal, part of that is the field, and then we just kept plugging away. At halftime we talked about the fact that we just needed to execute a little better. The game plan was good and we thought we would get one back and if we get one back we could force the game and fortunately that is what the guys did.”
  • After they were the first pair of twins to start together in an MLS match, Michael and Gabriel Farfan were the second pair to face each other in the Chivas match. Sainey and Sanna Nyassi had finally played against each other last season. Michael Farfan became the first to score a goal in one of those games.
  • “That’s probably the most difficult goal that he’s had,” Union right back Sheanon Williams said. “The technique to sky it to the top of the net is great. That’s good for him. I think it will build his confidence and hopefully he’ll continue to score more goals going forward.”
  • Sebastien Le Toux recorded a pair of assists to take over the league lead with nine, one ahead of LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane. Le Toux has six assists in the last six matches, all coming while playing in a wide midfield role.
  • Conor Casey scored his fifth goal in the last six matches to seal the win. He also recorded his second assist in the last three matches.
  • New signing Fabinho made his MLS debut, coming on for the final 12 minutes, and recorded his first assist ont the capping goal.
  • “I like our starting lineup right now, but Fabinho is certainly a guy that in time has potential to be a starter,” said Hackworth. “I saw his cross to Conor (Casey) and thought it was a great ball. He’s truly a left back, but in the time he’s been with us he’s been really good getting forward on certain balls in the box and he did that tonight. Good start for him.” Said Fabinho: “Since I am a left sided player, I always want to put in good balls. That is my main goal when I come into a match on the left side, to put in good, quality crosses.”

READ: Gamble pays off: Union reaping rewards of rejuvenated Conor Casey

PORTLAND TIMBERS
The Portland Timbers returned home and returned to their winning ways, getting a late winner for a 2-1 victory against the LA Galaxy on Saturday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. The Timbers are in second place in the Western Conference with 33 points from 19 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy broke through first, in the 17th minute. Hector Jimenez perfectly placed a cross from the right wing and Marcelo Sarvas was left alone in the box to head home with ease.
  • Portland answered back 10 minutes later. From a free kick just outside the Galaxy box, Diego Valeri took the restart quickly and fed a charging Darlington Nagbe, who rolled a cross to Ryan Johnson for an open-net goal.
  • The game-winner came just before the final whistle when Andrew Jean-Baptiste powered his way into the box to get on the end of a Valeri corner kick.
  • Timbers head coach Caleb Porter made one change to the team that fell 1-0 to the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Mamadou Danso came into central defense for the suspended Pa Modou Kah.
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts - Jack Jewsbury, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Mamadou Danso, Michael Harrington - Diego Chara, Ben Zemanski - Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe (Sal Zizzo 90), Kalif Alhassan (Frederic Piquionne 60) - Ryan Johnson (Jose Adolfo Valencia 85).

 

READ: A humbled Will Johnson "very proud" to represent Timbers at All-Star Game

TEAM NEWS

  • The Timbers allowed their first MLS goal at home since March 9, but still came back to defeat LA. The goal was the first allowed at Jeld-Wen Field in 586 minutes, the third-longest home shutout streak in MLS history.
  • “We’ve been building a fortress. We’ve shown this year that we’re very difficult to play at home,” said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. “For them to come in and play us toe-to-toe like they did, I think it’s a credit to the quality of team that they have.”
  • Diego Valeri had his third two-assist game, setting both goals vs. LA. He has six assists on the season; his assists have come in wins vs. Sporting KC (April 27), Chivas USA (May 12) and the LA Galaxy.
  • Andrew Jean-Baptiste scored his second career goal to give the Timbers the win. The first came in his professional debut – in last year’s meeting with Philadelphia, March 12 in Portland.
  • “We’re not done. We haven’t accomplished anything. All we’ve done is just win a couple of games, and until we get a couple of trophies in our cabinet, we haven’t done anything,” said Jean-Baptiste. “ … We’re just not going to lose two games, and we all knew we weren’t. We’re confident in our team that we’re not going to lose two games in a row, and obviously tonight we showed it.”
  • Both Timbers goals came on set pieces. They have now scored six goals from deadball situations this season, tied for third-most in MLS (FC Dallas lead with 11).
  • “Good teams are organized on set pieces, they’re clever, they’re opportunistic. They were opportunistic on the first goal, they put it down, played it wide, served it in. We were opportunistic as well, and obviously on the corner kick at the end,” said Porter. “[We] weren’t happy after last game, when we gave up a goal against Columbus, but I thought they were a big part of us winning the game tonight.”
  • After making two starts for Martinique in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Frederic Piquionne returned to the Timbers and came on for the final half-hour.
  • The Timbers now have come back for two wins and four draws in eight matches after allowing the opening goal. The .500 winning percentage after conceding first leads MLS; the six results they’ve salvaged are tied for third-most in the league.
  • “With us, we’re pushing the game so if we give up a goal, nothing changes, we’re pushing the game,” Porter said. “To win the game, you’ve got to score goals so the first goal doesn’t change a thing for us whatsoever, and you saw that in our play. We kept going, we kept pushing.”