Timbers unbeaten streak comes to an end with loss

On a 24-game unbeaten streak, the first-place Portland Timbers face the Rochester Rhinos tonight at 7 p.m. at PGE Park. Listen to tonight's match live on portlandtimbers.com or watch it through USL Live. Catch updates via Twitter. The first 2,000 fans at tonight's match recieve a t-shirt from FSN.

Click here for tonight's match notes.

Tonight's Starters:
POR: GK Cronin, D Hayes, D Keel, D Thompson, D Danso, M Farber, M McManus, M Savage, M Pore, F Keita, F Josten

ROC: GK Vallow, D Ball, D Bertz, D Sancho, D Kindel, M Short, M Gregor, M Fitzpatrick, M Roberto, F Menyongar, F McFarlane

Match Preview:

On a USL First Division-record unbeaten streak, the Portland Timbers square off against the Rochester Rhinos tonight for the third and final time during the 2009 campaign. Tonight marks the second meeting between the two sides this season at PGE Park.
 
The Timbers (14-1-10, 52pts) enter tonight’s match in first place with a three point lead and two games in hand over the second-place Carolina RailHawks, who were dealt a 1-0 loss last night by the Montreal Impact in Montreal. Having already clinched a spot in the postseason, the Timbers need six points from their final five matches to lock up first-place in the USL First Division.
 
Tonight’s match begins Portland’s compact September schedule, with five games over the next 15 days. Four of the Timbers five regular-season matches will take place at PGE Park. Portland is the lone remaining team in the USL First Division with an unbeaten record at home this season (9-0-2).
 
The Timbers are 2-0-0 against the Rhinos in 2009, including a 2-1 win at PGE Park back on May 14. Midfielder Brian Farber gave the Timbers the lead and midfielder Ryan Pore secured the victory with a 90th-minute penalty-kick goal. In the last meeting, Portland captured its first-ever win over the Rhinos in Rochester with a 4-1 result, receiving goals from four different players. The Timbers have held a one-man advantage in both games against Rochester this season, seeing a Rhino sent off in each contest. Since 2001, the Timbers are 3-8-2 against the Rhinos, including a 2-3-1 record at PGE Park.
 
Portland finished the month of August with a scoreless draw against the Charleston Battery on Aug. 28. In their busiest month of the regular season, the Timbers turned in a 5-0-2 record in August. Pore and forward Mandjou Keita combined for 10 of the team’s 13 goals last month.
 
Defender Stephen Keel and goalkeeper Steve Cronin were selected to the USL First Division Team of the Week for Week 21, following their performances in the team’s 0-0 draw against Charleston. It was the second Team of the Week selection for both players in 2009.
 
The Timbers finish their 2009 regular-season road schedule on Monday, Sept. 7, against the Austin Aztex at 4 p.m. (Pacific). It will be the first of two matchups between the two clubs next week; Austin visits Portland on Friday, Sept. 11.