Timbers, Stars battle it out tonight at 5 p.m.

The Timbers and NSC Minnesota Stars conclude their regular-season series tonight in Blaine, Minn., at 5 p.m. (Pacific). Listen to tonight's match live on 95.5 The Game or watch a live video webcast. In-game updates also available on Twitter.

Click here for tonight's match notes.

Tonight's Starters:
POR: GK Pyzdrowski, D Joy, D Danso, D Smith, D Purdy, M Marcelin, M Savage, M Pore, M Nimo, F Dike, F Muhamadu

MIN: GK Warren, D Lorenz, D Arango, D Altman, D Friedland, M Takada, M Gotsmanov, M Allen, M Wasson, F Tarley, F Bracalello

Match Preview:

The Portland Timbers continue life on the road as they travel to face the NSC Minnesota Stars tonight at the National Sports Center; the two sides wrap up a four-game, regular-season series. Of its last seven games, Portland has played six on the road.

Tonight’s match features two teams looking to continue their push for playoff positioning in the USSF Division-2 Pro League. The Timbers are in a two-way tie for fourth place with the Carolina RailHawks (31pts), while the Stars look to pull away from a congested bottom half of the playoff pool.

Only four points separate Portland and Carolina from the final teams in the playoff picture – Puerto Rico Islanders, NSC Minnesota and FC Tampa Bay Rowdies. Eight teams advance to the postseason - the two conference leaders are joined by six teams with the next-best point totals, regardless of conference alignment.

Portland ended a four-game winless run with a 1-0 road victory over AC St. Louis last weekend. Forward Bright Dike scored his third goal in four games and goalkeeper Steve Cronin turned in his eighth shutout of the season to help lead the Timbers. 
Saturday marks the fourth and final regular-season meeting between the Timbers and Stars. The two sides met last week in Portland, playing to a 2-2 draw at PGE Park. Dike and midfielder Ryan Pore helped Portland to a 2-1 lead before defender Ian Joy was sent off with a straight red card. With an extra man, the Stars were able to equalize for the draw. In their last visit to NSC Minnesota on June 19, the Timbers claimed a 2-0 win on goals by Pore and defender Josh Cameron. The two clubs traded road wins in their first two encounters in June; Portland is 1-1-1 against NSC Minnesota in 2010.

The Timbers return home on Aug. 26, as they begin a three-game homestand to close out their 2010 regular-season home schedule.