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Preview: Portland meet New York for first time in MLS

Portland vs. New York

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

JELD-WEN FIELD, Portland, Ore.
7 p.m. PT (Galavisión; ROOT-NW; MSG)
June 19, 2011 (WEEK 14; MLS Game 138)

The Portland Timbers meet the New York Red Bulls for the first time when the Eastern Conference co-leaders visit Jeld-Wen Field on Sunday evening. The Timbers have now two consecutive games on their home ground, after Colorado scored a late winner for a 1-0 win last weekend. The Red Bulls snapped a string of four draws in their last contest, a 2-1 home win against the New England Revolution.

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REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. SAR (bench): Peter Manikowski; JAR (opposite): Claudio Badea; 4th: Armando Villarreal
MLS Career: 133 games; FC/gm: 26.9; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 40; pens: 50

INJURY REPORT: PORTLAND TIMBERS — OUT: DF Mamadou Danso (L shoulder); FW Bright Dike (R Achilles rupture); MF James Marcelin (R knee MCL sprain); DOUBTFUL: MF Peter Lowry (L quadriceps strain); PROBABLE: GK Jake Gleeson (L elbow sprain); FW Eddie Johnson (R Achilles tendinitis) ... NEW YORK RED BULLS — OUT: MF Carl Robinson (R knee contusion); DF Chris Albright (hernia surgery); QUESTIONABLE: FW Luke Rodgers (plantar fasciitis); MF Joel Lindpere (L foot contusion)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: POR: Steve Purdy (El Salvador) ... NY: Rafael Marquez (Mexico); Dane Richards (Jamaica); Juan Agudelo, Tim Ream (USA)
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: POR: Jeremy Hall
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Rodney Wallace ... NY: Luke Rodgers

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (MLS): First meeting.
RETURN MATCH: 9/24: New York Red Bulls vs. Portland Timbers, 7:30 p.m. ET
•    Coaches record: John Spencer vs. NY: first game ... Hans Backe v POR: first game

PORTLAND TIMBERS

The Portland Timbers lost for a third consecutive game and second in a row at home, losing 1-0 to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. The Timbers have 17 points from 12 games, sitting in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    The Rapids snatched the late winner in stoppage time. Jamie Smith served in a set piece from the left, and Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins stopped two attempts from close range from the resulting melee. But the ball bounced back to Drew Moor and he stabbed it home from the heart of the area.
•    Timbers coach John Spencer made two changes to the team that fell 1-0 to Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center. Eric Brunner returned to the back four for David Horst, and Darlington Nagbe came back in for Sal Zizzo.
•    PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-4-2): Troy Perkins - Jeremy Hall, Mamadou Danso (David Horst 32), Eric Brunner, Rodney Wallace - Darlington Nagbe (Sal Zizzo 77), Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Kalif Alhassan - Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza (Ryan Pore 81).

TEAM NEWS
•    The Timbers have now lost three consecutive games for the first time in their MLS history, the last two by 1-0 scorelines. They've also lost two in a row at Jeld-Wen Field after winning their first five home games.
•    "I don't think they were scared to play here. I think they came with a game plan and they felt they were good enough to beat us," said Timbers coach John Spencer. "They didn't sit back and they had a couple chances in the first half where we never stopped a cross coming into the box and Troy Perkins makes a couple saves from headers
•    The Timbers held the edge in possession but now have not scored since a late consolation goal in the 3-2 home loss to D.C. United.
•    "I thought we created a ton of good chances, but unfortunately we couldn't put one of them in the back of the net," midfielder Jack Jewsbury said.
•    Mamadou "Futty" Danso was forced off the field after a half-hour after suffering a shoulder injury that required a visit to the hospital. He is expected to miss the next 2-4 weeks.
•    The Timbers were shutout at home for the first time in 2011. The Timbers entered Saturday's match ranked third in MLS for most goals scored at home with 12.
•    "I think the team created some great chances," said forward Kenny Cooper. "I certainly had some really good looks that my team set me up really well on and I got to do a better job with the chances I'm getting."

NEW YORK RED BULLS

The New York Red Bulls put an end to their winless streak and run of draws, defeating the New England Revolution 2-1 on Friday evening at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls have 22 points from 14 games, now tied for first place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    The Revolution had a glorious chance to open the scoring in the 33rd minute when defender Stephen Keel got tangled with Lekic in the penalty area. But goalkeeper Greg Sutton saved Shalrie Joseph's attempt from the spot at full stretch.
•    It proved costly for the visitors, as just four minutes later, Ryan Cochrane mistakenly knocked the ball into his own net in trying to clear Thierry Henry's centering pass from the right.
•    New York scored the eventual winner in the 50th minute. Henry controlled a pass on the left flank and drove into the penalty area before cutting the ball back and firing a shot past Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis.
•    The Revs pulled a goal back four minutes later when Chris Tierney served a quality cross from the left that fell perfectly onto the foot of Zak Boggs, who one-timed a shot past a diving Sutton.
•    Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe made no changes to the team that played to a 1-1 tie with the Columbus Crew at Red Bull Arena
•    NEW YORK RED BULLS (4-1-3-2): Greg Sutton - Jan Gunnar Solli, Carlos Mendes, Stephen Keel, Roy Miller - Teemu Tainio - Mehdi Ballouchy, Joel Lindpere, Austin da Luz (John Rooney 84) - Thierry Henry, Luke Rodgers (Corey Hertzog 64).

TEAM NEWS
•    The Red Bulls won for the first time since April 30 (six games) in defeating the Revolution, also stopping a stretch of four consecutive draws.
•    "Very important to get three points, but a very strange game," said Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe. "I don't know if I've seen that many scoring chances over 90 minutes. I still have the feeling it was deserved for our guys."
•    Thierry Henry scored his seventh goal of the season — coming in his last eight appearances, since April 16 — in the 2-1 home win vs. New England. Henry is now second in the MLS Golden Boot race, one behind the LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan.
•    "I think it was a phenomenal showing and attitude in this game. As the captain, as the leader, in the last 15, dropping back as a second striker when we were in trouble or in the last 30 minutes, we played almost a 4-5-1 or a 4-4-1-1 with him as a second striker and (Corey) Hertzog as the high striker. Of course if you understand his game, it's tactical," Backe said. "I think he is just getting better and better and just hope we can manage now to get rid of his knee problem and also his Achilles because we can see that he still has some very, very good quality.
•    The Red Bulls dodged a late bullet when an apparent equalizer was ruled out for offside. The week before, Columbus pulled into a 1-1 draw with a stoppage-time goal.
•    "Mentally, we've been really struggling," goalkeeper Greg Sutton said. "With the mishaps we had last weekend, it's been really difficult. We needed those three points."
•    Luke Rodgers had started 10 consecutive games and scored all five of his goals while adding three assists in that time. But he was forced off with an injury midway through the second half.
•    "It was a problem at halftime. He has problems with his heel, I don't really know what it is, but he had pain and it was just a question of whether we were going to start him in the second half," Backe said.