Portland Timbers vs. Columbus Crew | MLS Match Preview

May 17, 2014 (WEEK 11, MLS Game #101)
7:30 p.m. PT (ROOT-NW; TWCSN-OH)

Two teams in need of a victory come together at Providence Park on Saturday evening when the Portland Timbers play host to the Columbus Crew. The Timbers are still at the foot of the Western Conference after stretching their undefeated streak to three games with a last-gasp 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy last weekend. The Crew have now gone seven games without a win, following their third consecutive loss, a 1-0 home defeat by Vancouver last weekend.


REFEREE: Jose Carlos Rivero. AR1 (bench): Fabio Tovar; AR2 (opposite): Jeremy Hanson; 4th: Allen Chapman
MLS Career: 23 games; FC/gm: 27.2; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 6; pens: 11

SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Norbetto Paparetto, Diego Chara CLB: Federico Higuain
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: CLB: Michael Parkhurst (USA); Waylon Francis (CRC)

ALL-TIME (4 meetings): Timbers 1 win, 1 goal Crew 2 wins, 2 goals Ties 1
AT PORTLAND (2 meetings): Timbers 1 win, 1 goal Crew 0 wins, 0 goals Ties 1

7/7: CLB 1, POR 0 (Anor 5)

  • This is the only league meeting between the teams this season.
  • The Crew have won both meetings all-time in Columbus, both by 1-0 scorelines, including a victory in the only matchup a season ago, July 7 at Crew Stadium.
  • The teams played to a scoreless draw in 2012 in the last meeting in Portland; the Timbers won 1-0 in 2011 in the first encounter ever between the clubs.
  • Coaches record: Caleb Porter vs. CLB: P1 W0 L1 D0 Gregg Berhalter vs. POR: first game

The Portland Timbers extended their undefeated run to three games with more late dramatics, hitting for a late equalizer for a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy on Sunday afternoon at Providence Park. The Timbers are in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with 9 points from 10 games.


  • The Galaxy took the lead two minutes into second-half stoppage time when a long throw-in from Dan Gargan somehow traveled all the way to an unmarked Robbie Keane all alone in front of goal.
  • But the Timbers hit for an equally improbable equalizer three minutes later. Will Johnson somehow found Diego Valeri with a back heel in the penalty area, and his shot from the right side rolled just under Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo to send the sell-out crowd into a frenzy.
  • Timbers head coach Caleb Porter made no changes to the team that grabbed a late 3-2 win against D.C. United at Providence Park.
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-1-3): Donovan Ricketts - Jack Jewsbury, Pa Modou Kah, Mamadou Danso, Michael Harrington (Alvas Powell 5) - Diego Chara (Ben Zemanski 68), Will Johnson - Diego Valeri, - Darlington Nagbe, Gaston Fernandez (Maximiliano Urruti 76), Steve Zakuani.


  • While the Timbers weren't able to build upon their first victory of 2014, they did extend their undefeated run to two draws and the victory. They have lost once in their last six matches.
  • "The season's not done, but we're running out of time by not getting three points in this type of game," Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said. " ... We do keep slowly moving up, but we're running out of time and we need to pick it up and change that trend. It's time to change it otherwise we're not going to be the team we want to be at the end of the year."
  • The Timbers have conceded five of their 16 goals this season through crosses, third-most in MLS behind Chicago and FC Dallas (six each). Portland has also allowed two goals from corner kicks.
  • "Sounding like a broken record after games because most of the goals we've given up are simple crosses and guys running through to head the ball in, and at this level it's unacceptable to give up those types of goals," said Porter. "I always believed we'd get the goal, disappointing thing is we gave up the goal which meant, when we did find the goal, it was one point instead of three points."
  • The Timbers scored for a third time in second-half stoppage time – and for the second consecutive game. The match before, Portland defeated D.C. United with an added-time winner; they opened the season with a 1-1 draw with Chicago where the equalizer came in stoppage time.
  • Diego Valeri scored his second goal of the season, his first coming on April 5 vs. Seattle. Valeri has a goal and two assists in his last two matches.
  • Will Johnson recorded his first assist of 2014 on the late game-winner; he has one goal this season, scored on April 12.
  • The Timbers were forced into two injury substitutions, with both Michael Harrington and Diego Chará having to come off.
  • "I wanted Alvas [Powell] to play more like a winger," said Porter. "We were a little bit handicapped because we had some injury subs that we had to make so I wanted to have the same shape I had late in the last game, but we had to do it in a different way with Alvas being more of a winger and Darlington [Nagbe] was up with Maxi and [Diego] Valeri underneath. Valeri just naturally floats to the right a bit."
  • The Timbers made a significant addition heading into the Columbus match, signing striker Fanendo Adi on loan from Denmark's FC Copenhagen. Adi scored three goals in nine league matches for FC Copenhagen during the 2013-14 Danish Super Ligaen, and also featured in three group-stage matches during the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League.
  • "Adi gives us another striker piece to further strengthen our roster," Porter said. "His air play and ability to hold the ball as more of a target option will complement the qualities of our other players while providing a different dimension to our attack."

The Columbus Crew saw their winless, losing and shutout streaks extended, falling 1-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Crew are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, with 12 points from 10 matches.


  • The game's lone goal came in the 37th minute. From a free kick by goalkeeper David Ousted just outside the Whitecaps FC penalty area, Erik Hurtado controlled the long service, turned left into space and unleashed a perfectly placed drive that left goalkeeper Steve Clark with no chance.
  • Ousted was credited with two saves in recording the clean sheet, in addition to gaining an assist on the goal.
  • Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter made two changes to the team that fell 1-0 to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Wil Trapp came back into the midfield for Agustin Viana, and Hector Jimenez also returned to the side in place of Dominic Oduro.
  • COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): Steve Clark - Josh Williams (Ethan Finlay 77), Michael Parkhurst, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Waylon Francis - Tony Tchani, Wil Trapp - Hector Jimenez (Dominic Oduro 63), Federico Higuain, Bernardo Anor (Justin Meram 46) - Jairo Arrieta.


  • The Crew had their goalless streak extended to 321 minutes - the fourth-longest in club history. It was a third consecutive shutout and fourth of the season; the Crew have scored three goals in seven games since opening the season with seven goals in their first three.
  • "I think you need a certain explosiveness, dynamic and certain poise in front of the goal to capitalize on your opportunities. I think there are times in the first half when we were in crossing position and it ends up a counter attack for the other team," said Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter. "We're going to look at that and analyze that, but certainly we've got to get better at that aspect of the game around the goal, and we've got to get better."
  • While Berhalter made two changes from the team that lost in Houston at midweek, he still had used just 14 starters through the first 10 games of the season and two (Justin Meram and Agustin Viana) had started just once.
  • "The guys are running on fumes. ... The guys gave it everything they had and unfortunately that wasn't enough," said Berhalter. "If I'm critical of anything, it's my team selection, not rotating more guys and getting some fresh legs in there because to me that was clearly the difference. They were just more physical and able to run more than we were."
  • But there will be changes for certain this weekend, as Michael Parkhurst (USA) and Waylon Francis (Costa Rica) will join their respective national teams in preparation for the FIFA World Cup. Giancarlo Gonzalez has been named to Costa Rica's squad, but will be available for the Portland match.
  • "[Tyson Wahl], Eric Gehrig, these guys are hanging in there," said Berhalter. "It's not easy; they haven't gotten any chance to play because of our centerback combination. You tell them, 'Listen, your time will come, be patient.' Now's the time when we're going to be forced to make at least one change, so there's going to be new opportunities."
  • Wil Trapp came back into the side after missing the Houston match while on suspension following his sending off at the weekend.
  • "It's important. Wil is a good player. He's vice captain for a reason. He means a lot to the team and the organizational side of it and it's important to have him back, and Agustin [Viana] did a good job when he came in," said Berhalter.
  • Bernardo Anor played only the first half before coming off. Ethan Finlay came on late in the sixth substitute appearance in the last eight matches.
  • "I think [Anor] was fatigued as well and he'll tell you he was fine or he could've kept on, and he probably could've kept on, but he worked extremely hard last game and it took a big toll on him. The plan was to let him work hard and get a fresh guy in," said Berhalter. "... (Finlay) gives us a spark when he comes in and he's done this not just in this game. ... He has that ability, and for him it's maybe about the consistency getting that more often, but he's certainly an offensive spark for us."

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