Timbers face Thunder tonight in Minnesota

The Portland Timbers square off against the Minnesota Thunder tonight in Blaine, Minn., at 5:05 p.m. (Pacific). Catch a live broadcast on 95.5 The Game, online at portlandtimbers.com or a live video webcast through USL Live.

Click here for tonight's match notes.

Tonight's Starters:


Match Preview:

The Portland Timbers face their third game in four days tonight as they visit the Minnesota Thunder at the National Sports Center. Overall, tonight's match is the Timbers’ fourth match since Sunday, June 28.
Following their 2-1 loss to Major League Soccer's Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup, the Timbers responded with a 2-0 shutout victory over German side Bayern Munich II Thursday at PGE Park. Thursday was a night of several "firsts" this season, as goalkeeper Brian Visser recorded his first shutout, forward Antouman Jallow scored his first goal and midfielders Alex Nimo and Shaun Higgins each tallied their first assists of the 2009 campaign.
Portland enters tonight's match against Minnesota on a 12-game unbeaten streak in league matches; the Timbers' 15-game overall unbeaten streak came to an end Wednesday. With wins in their last two regular-season matches, the Timbers are currently in third place in the USL First Division and are just two points back of first-place Puerto Rico.
Led by leading scorer Mandjou Keita, the Timbers offense ranks second in the league with 20 total goals; Puerto Rico leads the league with 23 goals. Defensively, Portland has conceded just six goals this season, which ranks among the league's best in fewest goals allowed. Goalkeeper Steve Cronin has logged five of the team's seven shutouts.
Since 2001, the Timbers are 11-5-11 against the Thunder, including a 5-2-6 mark in Minnesota. Last month, the Timbers defeated the Thunder 5-1 at PGE Park in their highest scoring output since 2005. Under third-year head coach Gavin Wilkinson, the Timbers are unbeaten against the Thunder with a record of 2-0-5. The two sides finish their 2009 regular-season series on Aug. 1 back in Minnesota.
The Timbers are 1-1-4 on the road this season, and have matched their opponents in scoring, 4-4. The team's only loss of the season came on the road in late April against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Tonight’s match starts a stretch of four consecutive road matches for the Timbers. Portland visits the expansion Austin Aztex next on Saturday, July 11 at 5:30 p.m. (Pacific). The Timbers then travel Miami for a two-game weekend series against the Miami FC Blues on July 17-19.