Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders | MLS Match Preview

PORTLAND TIMBERS vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
PROVIDENCE PARK, Portland, Ore.
Aug. 24, 2014 (WEEK 24, MLS Game #229)
2 p.m. PT (ESPN2/WatchESPN/Deportes)

The third Cascadia Cup meeting between arch-rivals Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC could have major implications on the Western Conference playoff chase when the clubs meet Sunday afternoon at Providence Park before an ESPN2 audience. The Timbers come into the game one spot outside the playoff placing – but just two points behind fifth place following their 1-1 road draw at New England last week. Sounders FC are in a tie atop the top spot in the division and the MLS overall table, following their 1-1 home draw with San Jose at midweek.

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REFEREE: Baldomero Toledo. AR1 (bench): Kevin Klinger; AR2 (opposite): Mike Rottersman; 4th: Tyler Ploeger
MLS Career: 179 games; FC/gm: 25.2; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 62; pens: 66

SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD:
POR: Pa Modou Kah … SEA: DeAndre Yedlin, Gonzalo Pineda
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Norbetto Paparetto, Will Johnson, Diego Chara, Diego Valeri … SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, Obafemi Martins
DISABLED LIST: SEA: Damion Lowe; Kevin Parsemain
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (10 meetings): Timbers 2 wins, 12 goals … Sounders FC 4 wins, 17 goals …Ties 4
AT PORTLAND (5 meetings): Timbers 2 wins, 10 goals … Sounders FC 1 win, 9 goals … Ties 2

2014 (MLS)
4/5: POR 4, SEA 4 (Chara 9, 55; Valeri 14; Urruti 57 – Cooper 3; Dempsey 24, 85, 87)
7/13: SEA 2, POR 0 (Dempsey 74, Pappa 87)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Clint Dempsey and Marco Pappa scored late in the second half to lead Sounders FC to a 2-0 win July 13 at CenturyLink Field; on April 5, Dempsey scored two goals three minutes apart, in the 85th and 87th minutes, to bring Sounders FC back for a remarkable 4-4 draw at Providence Park.
  • Portland’s first-leg win in last year’s Western Conference Semifinal Series was the club’s first ever in all competitions in Seattle since coming to MLS. Sounders FC have recorded the only road win in the all-time league series between the clubs, a 3-2 win July 10, 2011.
  • The teams also met in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash, Sounders FC winning 3-1 in extra time. It was the first Open Cup meeting between the clubs since each came into MLS.
  • Versions of the club have faced one another in the NASL, Western Soccer League, APSL/A-League/USL First Division and now MLS. Overall, the clubs have met 87 times in official competitions, Seattle winning 44 times, Portland winning 31, and 12 draws.
  • Coaches record: Caleb Porter vs. SEA: P5 W1 L2 T2 … Sigi Schmid vs. POR: P10 W4 L2 T4

LAST MEETING (MLS)

  • Sounders FC finally made the breakthrough in the 74th minute. Following a free kick, Clint Dempsey’s initial attempt was blocked by goakeeper Donovan Ricketts and bounced to Obafemi Martins, who was denied by Ricketts again. But Gonzalo Pineda drove the rebound back through the box toward the back post, where Dempsey turned the ball into the roof of the net from inside the six-yard box.
  • The home side put in the dagger in the 87th minute. Martins freed Lamar Neagle on a quick break on the left, and he put in a rolling cross into the area for Marco Pappa, who fired a shot past a fallen Ricketts from the spot.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Zach Scott, Chad Marshall, Jalil Anibaba - Lamar Neagle, Gonzalo Pineda, Osvaldo Alonso, Marco Pappa (Micheal Azira 87) - Clint Dempsey (Dylan Remick 90), Chad Barrett (Obafemi Martins 51).
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-1-2-3): Donovan Ricketts - Michael Harrington (Kalif Alhassan 83), Danny O'Rourke, Rauwshan McKenzie, Jorge Villafana - Jack Jewsbury - Diego Valeri (Gaston Fernandez 74), Will Johnson - Darlington Nagbe, Fanendo Adi, Steve Zakuani (Rodney Wallace 63).

PORTLAND TIMBERS
The Portland Timbers took another point from their travels, reaching a 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Timbers are in sixth place in the Western Conference with 31 points from 24 games.

LAST MATCH

  • New England struck first in the 27th minute. Charlie Davies ran onto a Diego Fagundez through ball in the left side of the area, hitting a first-time left-footer past a diving Donovan Ricketts in the Portland goal and inside the far post.
  • But the Timbers drew level in the 65th minute. Liam Ridgewell intercepted a pass just inside midfield and charged past a slew of New England defenders, weaving his way into the left side of the box before firing a low-left footed shot inside the far post to level the score at 1-1.
  • Timbers head coach Caleb Porter made no changes to the team that defeated Chivas USA 2-0 at Providence Park.
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-4-1-1): Donovan Ricketts - Danny O'Rourke, Norberto Paparatto, Liam Ridgewell, Michael Harrington - Diego Valeri, Diego Chara, Will Johnson, Rodney Wallace (Darlington Nagbe 53) - Gaston Fernandez (Steve Zakuani 78) - Fanendo Adi (Maximiliano Urruti 60).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Timbers started a long travel odyssey with a fourth result from their last five games, with three wins and a draw since July 18.
  • “I don’t think we’re happy with a point, but I don’t think we’re disappointed either because at the end of the day, we came back from behind,” said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. “I think our effort in the second half was very good, we had chances to win the game – that’s probably the biggest disappointment.”
  • Said defender Liam Ridgewell: “It was good to come back; it showed our resilience and proved to us we can come back after giving up an early goal. We wanted the three points and in the end we might have deserved to get it, but sadly we couldn’t put away our chances.”
  • Ridgewell scored his first career MLS goal, making his fifth appearance (all as a starter) since coming to the club from West Bromwich Albion in England.
  • “We’ve lost one game since he’s been in the lineup – so three wins, a draw, and a loss ... So [Liam Ridgewell’s] obviously made a huge impact obviously. You don’t see central defenders score goals very often through the run of play so I think he showed not only his defensive quality, but he showed that when he does get forward at times, he can finish,” said Porter. “I don’t expect him to be doing that a lot, but it worked out that way and he’s a big-time player and I think he’s showing his spark.”
  • Porter maintained an unchanged side in consecutive league games for just the second time this season. The first was May 3-11 – which lasted just five minutes before Michael Harrington was forced from the field injured against the LA Galaxy.
  • “We came up with a plan of bringing everybody here because it is a closer distance from Boston to Guyana. We’ll send 10 guys back to train with a coach for three days while we’re gone so that those guys are getting ready and they’re fresh. Then we have a group that’s going to play that’s going to be, for the most part, fresh to hopefully get a result against Guyana and we’ll hopefully have a group that’s fresh and ready to beat Seattle,” said Porter. “It’s just squad rotation, normal things that you have to manage in the season.”
  • On Tuesday, the Timbers kicked off their CONCACAF Champions League campaign with a 4-1 win against Alpha United in Georgetown, Guyana. Steve Zakuani and Maximiliano Urruti gave the Timbers a 2-0 halftime lead, then Fanendo Adi and Alvas Powell closed out the match with second-half tallies.
  • Here’s the Timbers team: Weber – Powell, McKenzie, Kah, Villafaña; Zemanski, Alhassan, Jewsbury; Nanchoff (Peay, 82), Urruti (Adi, 56), Zakuani (Wallace, 64)
  • “In any tournament, the first game is crucial getting off to a good start. We knew because of Olimpia defeating Alpha United and getting three points that this was an important match and not only did we want to get three points, but we wanted to build some goal differential if we could, but first and foremost the goal was three points. We were able to accomplish what we set out to do and I think it’s great because we get off to a good start,” said Porter.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC weren’t able to get back to their winning ways, reaching a 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday evening at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in a tie for first place in the Western Conference with 42 points from 23 games.

LAST MATCH

  • Sounders FC took the lead within seconds of the second-half restart. Set free by a through ball from Obafemi Martins from midfield, Chad Barrett came in alone on goal and calmly tucked the ball past an on-rushing Jon Busch and into the San Jose goal.
  • But the Earthquakes struck back in the 65th minute. Cordell Cato knocked a cross past a defender DeAndre Yedlin from the left and found Chris Wondolowski poaching on the back post to bundle home a simple tap-in for the equalizer.
  • Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made six changes to the team that dropped a 2-1 decision to Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Only goalkeeper Stefan Frei, defenders DeAndre Yedlin and Chad Marshall, and midfielders Kenny Cooper and Osvaldo Alonso maintained their places.
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Djimi Traore, Chad Marshall, Jalil Anibaba - Kenny Cooper (Lamar Neagle 66), Andy Rose, Osvaldo Alonso, Marco Pappa (Brad Evans 78) - Chad Barrett (Clint Dempsey 71), Obafemi Martins.

TEAM NEWS

  • Sounders FC have gone without victories in back-to-back games for just the third time this season. They have not lost three games on the trot all year. They have just two wins in their last seven games, since a 12-game undefeated run came to an end.
  • “Everything is just quality service at the right times. It's just letting us down. … those are the things, the final decisions,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “We make a mistake, we get punished – that's been a pretty common theme. We just got to clean up the chances that are created. We aren't creating clean chances.”
  • Said midfielder Andy Rose: “Some draws you come out feeling pretty good about it and some you feel just a bit depleted. Unfortunately tonight we probably let two points slip and it falls into [the depleted] category.”
  • Chad Barrett made his first league start since July 13 and scored for a second consecutive match, the 50th league goal of his MLS career and now has six goals for the season.
  • “It was great for me individually. Great ball by Oba, good finish. It was great to get the 50th, but that's something you think about at the end of your career. Right now, three points is really all you want,” Barrett said.
  • Obafemi Martins returned to the lineup from suspension and collected his first assist since May 7, when he set up both goals vs. FC Dallas. It was the first league goal or assist for Martins since June 7, when he scored twice vs. Chicago.
  • “He's quick, he's strong, he's fast. He creates a lot, he draws a lot of attention, which leaves me open. Like I said, he played a great through ball, had a bunch of unlucky chances that didn't fall for him. I would have loved to see one of his shots go in,” said Barrett of Martins.
  • Clint Dempsey came off the substitutes’ bench in an MLS game for the first time since his return from the U.S. national team and the World Cup. He had started five league games in a row.
  • “I've been going nonstop since December, really, so that's why I rested today. [I am] trying to get my legs back under me to try to feel a little more energized and hopefully we can find a way to manage that and get back to feeling good again,” said Dempsey.
  • Andy Rose made his second league start of the season, his first since March 23. He had played the entire second half the week before vs. Real Salt Lake, his longest shift since that initial starting appearance.
  • Jalil Anibaba made his first start in three matches, coming in at left back, while Djimi Traore returned to the lineup in central defense after missing the RSL match.
  • “Just resting people. [Brad] Evans thought he was better, but we felt it would be too much to push him too much this early. [Clint] Dempsey has been going all year and we need to find a couple breaks here and there. I thought he came on and did some good things for us. [Djimi] Traore was just rested and Leo Gonzalez isn't in a state where he can play three games in a week,” said Schmid.