DC United vs. Portland Timbers | MLS Match Preview
D.C. UNITED vs PORTLAND TIMBERS
RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
May 25, 2013 (WEEK 13, MLS Game #114)
7 p.m. ET (UDN; ROOT-NW)
Having put an end to their club-record losing streak, D.C. United will now look to stop a long winless run when they play host to the rolling Portland Timbers when the clubs face off Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United halted a sevengame losing skid last weekend at home, coming back for a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City. The Timbers extended their club record undefeated streak to 10 games last weekend, coming back for a 2-2 draw at Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
REFEREE: Jose Carlos Rivero. AR1 (bench): Anthony Vasoli; AR2 (opposite): Bill Dittmar; 4th: Mark Kadlecik
MLS Career: 13 games; FC/gm: 26.6; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 4; pens: 5
DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: POR: Mamadou Danso (through May 26)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: Perry Kitchen … POR: Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Ben Zemanski
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): United 1 win, 5 goals … Timbers 0 wins, 4 goals … Ties 2
AT RFK STADIUM (1 meeting): United 0 wins, 1 goal … Timbers 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 1
LAST YEAR (MLS)
9/29: POR 1, DC 1 (Dike 79 – Pontius 60)
- This is the only meeting of the season between the two clubs.
- The teams have played to consecutive draws, including a 1-1 result last Aug. 29 in Portland in the only meeting between the clubs. D.C. United holds the only victory in the three meetings all-time, a 3-2 win at Jeld-Wen Field on May 29, 2011.
- Coaches record: Ben Olsen vs. POR: P1 W0 L0 T1 … Caleb Porter vs. DC: first game
D.C. United put an end to their club-record seven-game losing streak, coming back for a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Sunday afternoon at RFK Stadium. United are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 5 points from 11 matches.
- Kansas City took the lead at the hour mark. Via a corner kick by Graham Zusi, defender Ike Opara jumped to head the ball and the ball sailed past, deflecting off the head of United defender Ethan White and into the net.
- But the home side were even five minutes later. Chris Pontius delivered a beautiful ball from the left flank to Kyle Porter, and he slipped a picture-perfect finish inside the back post from inside the goal area.
- United head coach Ben Olsen made three changes to the team that fell 2-1 to FC Dallas in Frisco. Bill Hamid came back in between the posts for Joe Willis, Daniel Woolard started in the back four for James Riley, and Taylor Kemp came into the midfield in place of Raphael Augusto.
- D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Ethan White, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard - Kyle Porter, Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon, Taylor Kemp (Chris Pontius 46) - Dwayne De Rosario (Carlos Ruiz 90), Casey Townsend (Lionard Pajoy 59).
- D.C. United put an end to their all-time club record losing streak of seven games over the weekend, coming back for the 1-1 draw with Sporting. United’s nine-game winless streak is one game shy of the all-time club record, set July 4-Aug. 25, 2002.
- “There’s a lot to work on. I’m not sugar-coating this tie, but it beats losing,” United head coach Ben Olsen said. “I think there’s a little bit of an exhale [in the locker room], if I’m completely honest with you. It’s not easy to lose this many games and not have doubt. I think this gives them a chance to exhale and maybe smile for a day or two and understand that here’s an opportunity to really change things next weekend against Portland.”
- Making his fifth consecutive start, Kyle Porter scored his first professional goal to give United a share of the points. Porter has recorded his first MLS assist the week before at FC Dallas.
- “We asked a lot of Kyle this week. It's one of those things where you're new and you get into the game or in a team and you have a couple of games. You have some moments and you do OK. You can either go down or move it up a little bit,” said Olsen. “We asked him to step it up and start producing, whether it was assists or goals and don't be OK with just being a starter now. Get good minutes, push yourself and get your name out there. I'm glad he did that.”
- Chris Pontius was able to make his first appearance in four matches, since April 21, coming on at halftime, and his service set up the United goal, his second assist of the season.
- “My touch was off. At least I had an impact in the game with an assist, but other than that, when you come back you kind of second-guess yourself on a lot of your decisions. It's not natural,” said Pontius. “Once I get into a full week of training, hopefully I can be a lot cleaner in the game.”
- Primarily a wide midfielder since coming into the league last season, Nick DeLeon moved into a central midfield role alongside Perry Kitchen.
- “I thought he filled it in very nicely,” Olsen said. “When you do that sometimes, you now have options going forward. And Nick’s one of those kids that I feel comfortable plugging in anywhere on the field except center back. He’s one of those guys that kind of gets it. I’m looking forward to him being on the field consistently for us.”
- “[Kitchen] is good in the middle and he’s a hard worker and he’s fun to play with. I think if I do stay in the middle, our relationship will just get better and better,” said DeLeon. “ … If you want to put me wherever, I’ll play there and give it everything I have. It’s pretty cool that [Olsen] said that. That shows a lot of confidence in me, so that’s definitely pretty cool.”
- Taylor Kemp made his full professional debut, starting wide on the right of midfield and playing 45 minutes. Neither Rafael nor Raphael Augusto were available for the match.
- “We've got a couple guys getting some minutes that usually wouldn't. I thought [Taylor] Kemp did OK for his first game,” said Olsen. “ … Rafael got a concussion in training. [Raphael] Augusto had the weekend off for some family issues that he needs to take care of.”
- Bill Hamid also returned to the lineup after Joe Willis took his place in the 2-1 loss to FC Dallas the weekend before. “It just goes back to set pieces, and we as a team have to do better on set pieces. We did a good job locking them down,” said Hamid. “They got a lucky bounce on one of them, and that happens. Looking at the game throughout the whole 90 minutes, as a team we did really good on set pieces.”
The Portland Timbers stretched their MLS club-record undefeated streak to 10 games, twice coming back before settling for a 2-2 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday afternoon at BC Place. The Timbers are in third place in the Western Conference with 19 points from 12 matches.
- Whitecaps FC took the lead in the 24th minute. Timbers midfielder Will Johnson fouled Camilo just outside the area on the right side, and he took the resulting freekick himself, curling it over the wall and into the top right corner.
- The Timbers pulled even in the 62nd minute. Will Johnson created the penalty with a shot that struck Andy O'Brien's arm as it bent goalward, and then took his own spot kick and leveled the score.
- But moments later, Vancouver again nosed in front. This time Gershon Koffie bent a shot into the top right corner of Donovan Ricketts’ goal after Camilo teed him up at the edge of the area.
- Ten minutes later, Whitecaps FC went up a man when Futty Danso appeared to bring Camilo down as they both chased down a ball over the top toward the Portland goal.
- Yet the Timbers had the final answer. Jose Adolfo Valencia ran under Will Johnson's high, hopeful ball and and brought it under control before cutting back past a defender and slotting home coolly past Brad Knighton.
- Timbers head coach Caleb Porter made no changes to the team that rolled to a 3-0 win against Chivas USA at Jeld-Wen Field.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts - Jack Jewsbury (Jose Adolfo Valencia 77), Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Mamadou Danso (sent off 81), Michael Harrington - Diego Chara, Will Johnson - Darlington Nagbe (Kalif Alhassan 34), Diego Valeri, Rodney Wallace - Ryan Johnson (Frederic Piquionne 62).
- The Timbers are still the only team in MLS undefeated on the road this season, following the draw with Vancouver. The Timbers extended their MLS club record undefeated streak to 10 games with the result.
- “The reality is it’s tough to go on the road in this league and get a result so it’s a good feeling but we know we’ve got another tough test the next couple of weeks so we’ve got three in a row on the road now and next up is D.C. and we look to go there and pick up three points,” said defender Jack Jewsbury.
- “This team continues to do things that impress me,” Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said. “We’ve gone 10 games without a loss and throughout those 10 games we’ve faced adversity and in some games have had to come from behind one or two goals, and this is just another example of what this team is made of.”
- The Timbers allowed the opening goal for the sixth time in 11 games – and remarkably came away with a result for the fifth time. They are 1-1-4 when conceding first, the best record in MLS. A year ago, the Timbers were 1-12-5 when allowing the opening goal.
- “This team just seems to have that never quit, refuse to lose [attitude],” Porter said. “And you hope you can kind of harness it in a team and some teams just never have it, but this team has it. We’ve seen that, and it’s not just the first game we’ve shown that, but in several games our backs are against the wall and we somehow find a way to get a result.”
- Will Johnson took over the Timbers team lead with his fifth goal of the season and second in as many matches. He also contributed an assist, the first time in his MLS career he’s had a goal and an assist in the same game.
- “We didn’t feel like we played particularly well and even when you’re a man down, you’re a goal down and you’re on the road there’s still ten minutes to go, you don’t like your chances but you don’t give up,” said Johnson. “You fight and you try because we’ve got a thousand fans that sit up in the stands who expect nothing less. We recognize we’ve got to fight even if it doesn’t look like there’s any chance and the task looks impossible we don’t give up and we fight.”
- Making his first appearance since the third game of the season, March 16 in Seattle, José Adolfo Valencia scored his first MLS goal.
- “He’s the type of guy that you’re going to put in when you’re chasing the game, and we haven’t been chasing games that many games,” Porter said. “We felt like we needed a little bit of an extra push with a player, and he’s a dynamic player. He pulled a play off to help us get the point.”
- There will be yet another change in the Timbers central defense after Mamadou Danso was sent off in the 81st minute. He and Andrew Jean-Baptiste were playing a third consecutive match together following the injury to Mikaël Silvestre.