Timbers play Carolina on the road Saturday

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers return to action on Saturday, opening a four-game road stretch to conclude the regular season as they visit the Carolina RailHawks at WakeMed Soccer Park at 4 p.m. (Pacific).

Saturday’s fixture will be broadcast live on Newsradio 750 KXL, with a live video webcast online at www.portlandtimbers.com/live.

The Timbers, who have already clinched one of eight USSF Division-2 Pro League playoff berths, rank third in the USL Conference and sit just seven points back of the second-place Rochester Rhinos; Portland is in fourth place in the overall league table. The top eight clubs advance to the postseason, with the two conference leaders occupying the top two seeds.

Portland extended its unbeaten streak to six games (4-0-2) with 1-0 win over the Puerto Rico Islanders in its regular-season home finale at PGE Park on Sept. 2. The Timbers have shut out four of their last five opponents, leading to victories in four of their last five matches. During their unbeaten run, the Timbers have out-scored their opponents 9-3, with midfielder Ryan Pore and forward Bright Dike combing to score all nine goals.

The Timbers and RailHawks conclude their two-game, regular-season series with Saturday’s match in Cary, N.C. In the previous matchup earlier this season, the Timbers settled for a 1-1 draw after Carolina’s Daniel Paladini scored the equalizer in the closing minutes of second-half stoppage time June 6 at PGE Park. Of the eight matches played between Portland and Carolina since 2007, four have ended in a draw. The Timbers are 1-2-1 all-time against the RailHawks in Carolina, with their lone victory coming Sept. 1, 2007.

The RailHawks (10-8-7, 37pts) are second in the NASL Conference and trail the conference-leading Vancouver Whitecaps (41pts) by just four points. Carolina has won three straight matches, including 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace Baltimore at home Sept. 3. The RailHawks return to league play after defeating Mexican side Pumas Morelos in an exhibition match over the weekend. In the race for a playoff berth, the RailHawks are four points behind the Timbers in the overall USSF D-2 Pro League standings in fifth place.