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Preview: Timbers get second go-round against Rapids

Portland - Colorado

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The Portland Timbers and Colorado Rapids meet for the second time this season when the clubs face off Saturday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. The Timbers played at Colorado in the first game in their MLS history, the Rapids taking a 3-1 decision. The Rapids have played to a record six consecutive draws, last time out a 1-1 tie at home with Philadelphia. The Timbers have lost back-to-back games, returning home after a 1-0 loss at Chivas USA.

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REFEREE: Abbey Okulaja. SAR (bench): Chris Strickland; JAR (opposite): Peter Balciunas; 4th: Allen Chapman
 MLS Career: 108 games; FC/gm: 27.1; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 18; pens: 25

INJURY REPORT: PORTLAND TIMBERS – OUT: FW Bright Dike (R Achilles rupture); DOUBTFUL: MF Peter Lowry (L quadriceps strain); PROBABLE: GK Jake Gleeson (L elbow sprain); MF Jack Jewsbury (groin strain); FW Eddie Johnson (R Achilles tendinitis) …
COLORADO RAPIDS – OUT: FW Macoumba Kandji (L knee ACL tear); MF Davy Armstrong (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: DF Marvell Wynne (R hamstring strain); FW Omar Cummings (R ankle sprain); PROBABLE: MF Jamie Smith (L calf strain); GK Matt Pickens (R groin strain); FW Quincy Amarikwa (L ankle sprain); FW Caleb Folan (R groin strain); MF Joseph Nane (R shoulder strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: POR: Steve Purdy (El Salvador)
SUSPENDED: COL: Brian Mullan (through June 26)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Jeremy Hall, Rodney Wallace … COL: Conor Casey, Tyrone Marshall, Pablo Mastroeni, Drew Moor, Anthony Wallace

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (1 meeting): Rapids 1 win, 3 goals … Timbers 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 0
•    The first game in the Timbers’ MLS history was against Colorado, a 3-1 defeat on March 19 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
•    Coaches record: Gary Smith v POR: P1 W1 L0 D0 … John Spencer vs. COL: P1 W0 L1 D0

LAST MEETING
3/19: COL 3, POR 1 (Larentowicz 8; Cummings 29; Smith 30 – Cooper 80)
•    The Rapids took the lead after just eight minutes, when Omar Cummings’ crossing pass from along the right endline took a deflection and was hammered home by Jeff Larentowicz. Cummings then doubled the lead in the 29th minute when he raced onto a flicked header from Conor Casey and finally knocked a second-chance effort after Portland goalkeeper Adin Brown saved his solo attempt.
•    Jamie Smith made it 3-0 barely a minute later, thumping home a drive from long range. Kenny Cooper scored the first goal in Timbers MLS history, driving home a low free kick 10 minutes from time.
•    COLORADO RAPIDS (4-4-2): Matt Pickens – Kosuke Kimura, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Anthony Wallace - Brian Mullan (Wells Thompson 88), Pablo Mastroeni (Sanna Nyassi 77), Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Smith - Omar Cummings, Conor Casey (Quincy Amarikwa 61).
•    PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-4-2): Adin Brown – Steve Purdy, Kevin Goldthwaite (David Horst 46), Eric Brunner, Rodney Wallace (Kalif Alhassan 66) – Ryan Pore, Jack Jewsbury, Peter Lowry (Adam Moffat 46), Jeremy Hall – Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza.

PORTLAND TIMBERS
The Portland Timbers suffered a defeat for a second consecutive match, falling 1-0 to Chivas USA on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. The Timbers have 17 points from 11 games, sitting in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    The game's lone goal came in the 70th minute. Chivas USA's Paulo Nagamura streaked down the right touchline and played the ball across the goalmouth to a waiting Marcos Mondaini, who tapped it past Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins at the far post.
•    Dan Kennedy made four saves in goal for Chivas USA in keeping the clean sheet.
•    Timbers coach John Spencer made one change to the team that lost 3-2 to D.C. United at Jeld-Wen Field. David Horst came in at central defense, for Eric Brunner.
•    PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-1-3-2): Troy Perkins - Jeremy Hall, David Horst, Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace - Diego Chara - Sal Zizzo (James Marcelin 80), Jack Jewsbury, Kalif Alhassan (Darlington Nagbe 71) - Kenny Cooper (Eddie Johnson 75), Jorge Perlaza.

TEAM NEWS
•    The Timbers have now lost back-to-back games for the first time since opening their first MLS season with losses to Colorado and Toronto.
•    “We’re in good shape. I said to the guys, ‘don’t be happy that we lost, I don’t expect you’d be happy that we lost’. Could we play better? I know we can. But for a new team we aren’t doing so bad.” We've got to keep our heads up," Timbers boss John Spencer said.
•    The Timbers were shut out for the third time on the season. They also come away from The Home Depot Center with a pair of shutout losses in their first season.
•    "We still figuring ourselves out. We knew there was going to be some really rough parts (to the season). The first three games of the year were really bad. Then we came home and did well," goalkeeper Troy Perkins said to The Oregonian. "It's like a stock market. It's up. It's down. We have to find that medium where it's consistently at the same level."
•    The Timbers were outshot 19-9 by Chivas USA, Perkins called upon to make six saves in goal in a seventh consecutive start after taking over for Jake Gleeson.
•    “I thought he was excellent. I thought he pulled off two world-class saves,” said Spencer. “That’s why we brought him here, that’s why we put him back in the team, and I thought in the last couple months he’s been excellent.”
•    Jack Jewsbury was also shut out for the first time since April 23. Jewsbury had scored a goal or recorded an assist in each of Portland’s five games in between (two goals, three assists among the Timbers’ six goals), his longest such streak.
•    Defender Eric Brunner missed his first match of the season, out due to illness. He had played every minute of the season coming into the match. David Horst made his first appearance since April 2.

COLORADO RAPIDS
The Colorado Rapids played to an MLS-record sixth consecutive draw, this time a 1-1 tie with Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Rapids have 19 points from 14 games, sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    Both goals came in a four-minute span midway through the second half. After Colorado's Pablo Mastroeni was taken down by Union defender Danny Califf in the box, Conor Casey converted from the spot, wrong-footing goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón with a deft lob.
•    But in the 66th minute, Danny Mwanga pulled the visitors level, taking a shot from just outside the edge of the area that Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens couldn't keep out of the goal despite getting his hands to the ball.
•    Rapids head coach Gary Smith made three changes to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Anthony Wallace, Jamie Smith and Andre Akpan all came back into the team, in place of Marvell Wynne, Sanna Nyassi and Ross LaBauex.
•    COLORADO RAPIDS (4-2-3-1): Matt Pickens - Kosuke Kimura (Scott Palguta 77), Drew Moor, Tyrone Marshall, Anthony Wallace - Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz - Jamie Smith, Andre Akpan (Quincy Amarikwa 46), Wells Thompson - Conor Casey (Caleb Folan 74).
TEAM NEWS
•    The Rapids set an MLS record with their sixth consecutive draw. It’s the most draws in a row within a single season; San Jose also had six consecutive draws, over the conclusion of the 2004 season and the start of 2005.
•    "Groundhog Day," Rapids coach Gary Smith said. "It feels exactly the same as last week."
•    But the Rapids were able to extend their unbeaten streak to eight games, matching the club record set April 25 – June 24, 2009, though only one of those games was a victory.
•    It was a third consecutive match where the Rapids held the lead, yet saw their opponents come back to snatch a share of the points. The Rapids have four draws in seven games after scoring first, tied with New York for the most games in MLS in dropping points after scoring first.
•    “As a unit, as a team, they are extremely capable of keeping clean sheets,” Smith said. “And when moments like that occur so quickly, that for me is put down to a little bit of nervousness, a little bit of apprehension.”
•    Conor Casey has now scored goals in back-to-back games, converting a penalty kick against Philadelphia. A scorer of double-digits in goal each of the last three seasons, Casey gets hotter as the weather does: he had nine goals after June 1 each of the last two seasons, and all 11 of his goals in 2008 came after that date.
•    Casey could have his running mate Omar Cummings back for the Portland match, after the Jamaican international returned to full training during the week. Cummings has not featured since suffering a sprained ankle on May 4; Smith said he was hopeful he’d be in the traveling party to Portland.
•    "Omar can do things individually that others can't, just through sheer pace and that real creative nature that he's got," Smith said. "He draws players towards him, he gives others a moment to find a better pass because he's such a handful."
•    The pair has each hit for double-digits in goals the last two seasons, combining for 27 goals (Cummings 14, Casey 13) last season. But they have not been on the field together this year since April 3, and were both in the first XI only in the season opener against Portland.
•    "I think that's definitely a factor," Casey said. "At the same time, it's on us. We've had chances, we haven't done as well as we should have."