Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps | MLS Match Preview
PORTLAND TIMBERS vs VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
PROVIDENCE PARK, Portland, Ore.
June 1, 2014 (WEEK 13, MLS Game #124)
9 pm ET/6 pm PT (ROOT-NW; TSN2)
The battle for the Cascadia Cup continues with a clash between rising sides as the Portland Timbers meet Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sunday evening at Providence Park. The Timbers return home following back-to-back victories on the road, coming off a 2-0 win at Chivas USA at midweek. Whitecaps FC haven't lost in their last five matches, following a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC last weekend at BC Place.
REFEREE: Kevin Stott. AR1 (bench): Chris Strickland; AR2 (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Baldomero Toledo
MLS Career: 248 games; FC/gm: 25.5; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 60; pens: 57
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Matias Laba
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Norbetto Paparetto, Diego Chara, Pa Modou Kah ... VAN: Andy O'Brien
DISABLED LIST: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: POR: Alvas Powell (JAM) ... VAN: Steven Beitashour (IRN); Carlyle Mitchell (TRI)
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Timbers 4 wins, 12 goals ... Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 8 goals ... Ties 4
AT PORTLAND (4 meetings): Timbers 2 wins, 6 goals ... Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 4 goals ... Ties 4
RETURN MATCHES: 8/30: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Portland Timbers, 7:30 p.m. PT; 9/20: Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 2 p.m. PT
LAST YEAR (MLS)
5/18: VAN 2, POR 2 (Sanvezzo 24; Koffie 54 ñ W. Johnson 52; Valencia 84)
8/3: POR 1, VAN 1 (R. Johnson 49 ñ Harvey (69)
10/6: VAN 2, POR 2 (Sanvezzo 76, 78 ñ Nagbe 41; W. Johnson 77)
- The Timbers have never lost to Whitecaps FC since the two teams have played in MLS competition. The Timbers have won four of the eight meetings all-time, including two of the four contests at BC Place.
- The teams played to three draws in three meetings a season ago, reaching a pair of 2-2 results at BC Place and ending with a 1-1 tie in Portland.
- Coaches record: Caleb Porter v VAN: P3 W0 L0 T3 ... Carl Robinson vs. POR: first game
The Portland Timbers stretched their unbeaten streak to six matches with a second consecutive road win, easing to a 2-0 victory against Chivas USA on Wednesday evening at StubHub Center. The Timbers are in sixth place in the Western Conference with 16 points from 13 games.
- Both goals came in a six-minute span midway through in the second half. In the 65th minute, Jorge Villafana hooked in a cross from the left flank on the overlap, and Fanendo Adi was left all alone in the heart of the area to easily side-foot home past Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
- Six minutes, Adi hit for his second, sent in clean through on goal from a through ball from midfield by Diego Valeri, again with all the time in the world to stroke the ball into the back of the net.
- Chivas USA's frustration was complete in the 84th minute when defender Bobby Burling received a straight red card from referee Edvin Jurisevic for a late tackle on Adi.
- Timbers head coach Caleb Porter made eight changes to the team that came back for a 2-1 win against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Only goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, fullback Jorge Villafana and midfielder Will Johnson kept their places in the team.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts - Danny O'Rourke, Norberto Paparatto (Rauwshan McKenzie 78), Mamadou Danso, Jorge Villafana - Will Johnson, Diego Chara - Kalif Alhassan, Gaston Fernandez (Diego Valeri 68), Michael Nanchoff (Darlington Nagbe 58) - Fanendo Adi.
- The Timbers extended their undefeated streak to six games, concluding the month of May without a defeat. They have lost just once since the start of April.
- As well, the Timbers won back-to-back games on the road for the first time in their MLS history, in their fourth season in the league.
- "It's great to know that when we rotate our team, that we can get the same high level in terms of performance. I thought it was a very professional performance," said Porter. "I thought over the course of the two games, played nearly 20 guys, I don't even know the exact number, but I thought every single guy put a shift in. That's great, we're going to need that to win games moving forward."
- Fanendo Adi was making his first start with the Timbers, after two brief substitute appearances following his signing, and scored his first two MLS goals.
- "As a striker you come into the game believing that you can be able to help the team in the way of getting goals and that's just what happened. Not credit just to me but credit to the whole team," Adi said. "Without the guys who kick the ball I couldn't put the ball in the net. It's credit to everyone."
- Signed just the day before, Danny O'Rourke made his Timbers debut at right back. O'Rourke last played with the Columbus Crew, making 22 appearances there last year, in his sixth season with that club and ninth in MLS.
- Midfielder Diego Chara returned to the lineup after missing two matches following surgery to stabilize a fractured third metacarpal in his left hand, sustained against LA on May 11.
- Darlington Nagbe saw his streak of 60 consecutive league starts come to an end, having last missed a game July 21, 2012.
- "The plan was all along to play a group in New York, turn around, play pretty much a different group, obviously we overlapped a few guys, which means now we come back to Vancouver with fresh options even though we've just played two games in five days," Porter said. "Again, I think this week we showed no matter what we're up against, we've got guys that can step in to do a job."
- The Timbers also kept a clean sheet for the first time this season, leaving only the Chicago Fire and Chivas USA as teams without a defensive shutout this season.
- "I think the work that we put in everyday, we've been improving, we showed it in New York," said Jorge Villafana. "We won that game too and we come here and we work as always and we get the three points and a clean sheet."
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC extended their undefeated run to five matches, though they were hauled back into a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday afternoon at BC Place. Whitecaps FC sit in fifth place in the Western Conference with 17 points from 11 games.
- Sounders FC took the lead in the 36th minute, as Chad Barrett got on the end of Kenny Cooper cross, easily outjumping a defender to power a header home from 12 yards out.
- But Vancouver hit back three minutes later when Erik Hurtado started and finished off a neat three-man passing move by weaving his way into the box, leaving two Seattle defenders on the deck before firing high into the roof of the net to tie the score at 1-1.
- Whitecaps FC took the lead in the 66th minute when goalkeeper Stefan Frei tried to prevent a corner but instead cleared the ball upfield straight to Gershon Koffie, who chested it down before lobbing the ball home from 35 yards into the empty net.
- But Seattle grabbed a share of the points with eight minutes remaining when referee Ismail Elfath pointed to the spot after ruling a foul by Whitecaps defender Jay DeMerit in the box, and Gonzalo Pineda hit home from the penalty spot for the equalizer.
- Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made one change to the team that won 1-0 against the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium. Nigel Reo-Coker came in at right back with Steven Beitashour away on national team duty.
- VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-3-1): David Ousted - Nigel Reo-Coker, Andy O'Brien, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey - Gershon Koffie, Matias Laba - Sebastian Fernandez (Nicolas Mezquida 71), Pedro Morales, Kekuta Manneh (Russell Teibert 79) - Erik Hurtado.
- Whitecaps FC extended their undefeated run to five games, despite seeing their streak of back-to-back wins come to an end.
- Whitecaps FC had 24 total attempts at goal, the second-most in the club's MLS history, three fewer than were uncorked last April 27 in a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas.
- "I'm not scratching my head," head coach Carl Robinson said. "I'm actually enjoying it that we're creating so many chances, if I'm honest ñ I think 24 shots, and the guys worked out that we've had 67 shots in the last three games against 23 to the opposition. We're doing some things right. Obviously we need to take more chances, we know that. We'll be working on that this week as well. We can't continue to score two goals every game and not win, so that's another focus where we have to tidy up another certain area as well."
- David Ousted did not make a single save, though he was twice beaten for goals (including the equalizing penalty kick).
- Erik Hurtado made it two goals in two games, scoring a week after netting his first professional goal to seal the 1-0 win vs. Columbus.
- "People ask me about what's the difference in Erik from last three weeks ago ëtil now and he's a different player. Well I say no, he's not a different player, he's the same player, but his confidence has obviously grown," Robinson said. "I think the supporters are finally seeing what he can do. I've seen that in glimpses last year while I was here as an assistant, and I wanted to give him that chance. I think players want their managers to have faith in them, and I certainly have faith in Erik at the moment. He's doing himself a lot of good."
- Pedro Morales recorded his third assist of the season, his first since March 29. Morales has two goals and an assist in the last three games.
- Gershon Koffie scored his first goal of the season, his first since last Sept. 1 vs. Chivas USA.
- "It was probably his best performance. He's been excellent the last three or four games for me," said Robinson. "I keep saying to him that he needs to keep scoring goals. He's a midfield player. Not just his goal, but I think he hit the bar in the first couple of minutes, and then could have nicked it in the end with two more chances. It was an all-around performance from him, and he should be proud of himself."
- With Steven Beitashour having joined the Iranian national team for World Cup preparations, Nigel Reo-Coker started at right back ñ his first league start since March 22, when he started the first three games of the season.
"I'm not sure who I could have started at right back to be honest. ... He was great against Toronto for 120 minutes last week Wednesday. He was great today. He was powerful. He was driving," Robinson said. "Marco Pappa is a super player, technically a very good player and Nigel was good. He's a big part of this group, and I've said that all along and all the speculation about him. Nigel's here and I'm delighted to have him."