MatchDay Preview: Portland host archrivals Seattle for bragging rights
The Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC renew their Cascadia Cup rivalry in front of a national audience when the clubs meet Sunday afternoon at JELD-WEN Field (1:00pm PT, ESPN, 750 AM The Game, La Pantera 940 AM). The Timbers are currently in the throes of a six-game winless slide after a 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City at home last weekend. Sounders FC stretched their current unbeaten run to seven games last time out in a scoreless draw at the LA Galaxy on July 4.
- ALL-TIME (MLS): Timbers 0 wins, 1 goal … Sounders FC 0 wins, 1 goal … Ties 1
- The clubs renewed their rivalry that started all the way back in 1974 on May 14 at Qwest Field, a Mamadou Danso goal for the Timbers canceling out an Alvaro Fernandez tally in a 1-1 draw.
- The clubs have a long history against each other, dating back to the North American Soccer League. In more recent times, the teams met in back-to-back years in the U.S. Open Cup, with the MLS Sounders defeating the D-II Timbers in both 2009 and 2010.
- Versions of the club have faced one another in the NASL, Western Soccer League, APSL/A-League/USL First Division and now MLS.
- Coaches record: Sigi Schmid v POR: P1 W0 L0 T1 … John Spencer vs. SEA: P1 W0 L0 T1
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- 5/14: SEA 1, POR 1 (Fernandez 52 – Danso 65)
- Sounders FC took the lead in the 52nd minute. Roger Levesque lofted the ball forward to Fredy Montero, who outleaped two defenders to flick the ball on to Alvaro Fernández, who then had time to settle before lashing a left-footed shot inside Troy Perkins’ near post.
- But Portland pulled level from yet another set piece. In an almost instant replay of the goal against Philadelphia a week earlier, Jack Jewsbury lofted a free kick toward Mamadou Danso in the heart of the area, and the Gambian center back nodded it into the net.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-1-3-2): Kasey Keller - James Riley, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl - Servando Carrasco - Brad Evans (Roger Levesque 42), Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez – Fredy Montero, Nate Jaqua (Lamar Neagle 79).
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-4-2): Troy Perkins - Jeremy Hall, Mamadou Danso, Eric Brunner, Rodney Wallace - Darlington Nagbe (Sal Zizzo 61), Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Kalif Alhassan - Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza (Ryan Pore 84).
The Portland Timbers saw their home and overall winless slides extended, falling 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at JELD-WEN Field. The Timbers have 18 points from 15 games, sitting in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference.
Sporting KC took the lead with two goals in a four-minute span. In the 15th minute, Omar Bravo found Sapong with a forward pass and Sapong rounded Mamadou Danso before firing a shot past Troy Perkins from the top of the box.
Then four minutes later, Matt Besler launched in a long throw-in that Sapong flicked on, finding Aurelien Collin near the top of the six-yard box. The big French center back guiding a glancing header just inside the right post for the 2-0 lead.
The Timbers pulled a goal in stunning fashion just before halftime. Darlington Nagbe controlled a corner that had been punched out by Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, juggled it twice with his right foot and then sent a looping volley inside the left-hand post.
Timbers coach John Spencer made two changes to the team that fell 4-0 to FC Dallas on Saturday night at Pizza Hut Park. Steve Purdy came in for Jeremy Hall at fullback and Eddie Johnson started up top in place of Kenny Cooper.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-4-2): Troy Perkins - Steve Purdy, Mamadou Danso, Eric Brunner, Rodney Wallace - Kalif Alhassan (Sal Zizzo 73), Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe (James Marcelin 78) – Eddie Johnson (Kenny Cooper 67), Jorge Perlaza
The Timbers had their winless streak stretched to six games in league play, and to four games at JELD-WEN Field (with three losses in that time) in the loss to Sporting.
"We're lacking a lot of confidence right now. When you get out of the gates like we did at home, going five (games) unbeaten, I think guys get the feeling that we could go unbeaten at home all season and they're young. Experience-wise we've got a lot to learn,” Timbers head coach John Spencer said.
Darlington Nagbe scored his first professional goal and it was one to remember, a strike that was the No. 1 play from the weekend on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
"We've been fortunate in the last month to see three of the best goals in world soccer. (Eric) Hassli's up at Seattle, (Graham) Zusi's against Dallas and that one (from Nagbe),” Spencer said. “If Cristiano Ronaldo scores that goal it's splattered all over the globe. We've been fortunate enough that three MLS players have scored three world-class goals."
Promising changes in the team, Kenny Cooper was out of the starting lineup for the first time this season, his first substitute appearance in MLS since 2007. Jeremy Hall completely missed out on a match for the first time this year.
“I think guys come in the game and, obviously, want to do well, and all of a sudden, you find yourself down two-nil and the guys who have been put in the game don’t get a chance to show what they can do, so I was a little bit disappointed in that way,” Spencer said.
- The Timbers have now allowed 28 goals on the campaign, one off the league-high held by D.C. United and Toronto FC. They have allowed nine goals in the past three games.
"It's quite a hole that we put ourselves in. I didn’t help us out (against KC); I think the first goal is my fault,” said goalkeeper Troy Perkins. “We just have to find ourselves again and what made us a winning team and get back to our winning ways. I think we'll be OK. We're going to get back to work and sort all this out."
On Thursday, Club América defeated the Timbers 1-0 in a friendly at JELD-WEN Field. The game’s lone goal was scored by Ángel Reyna in the 16th minute.
- Here’s the Timbers team: Adin Brown (Jake Gleeson 46), Chris Taylor, John Thompson, Kevin Goldthwaite, Aleksandar Ignjatovic (Mamadou Danso 83), Freddie Braun (Kalif Alhassan 83), James Marcelin (Peter Lowry 71), Rodrigo Lopez, Sal Zizzo (Bright Dike 71), Ryan Pore, Kenny Cooper (Brian Umony 68)
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC saw their winning streak ended but still extended their unbeaten run to seven games, reaching a scoreless draw with the LA Galaxy on July 4 at The Home Depot Center. Sounders FC have 32 points from 20 games on the season, sitting in third place in the Western Conference.
Brian Perk made his MLS debut in goal and was quickly put to the test when Osvaldo Alonso’s shot on goal bounced off defender Omar Gonzalez’s arm. But Perk guessed correctly on the resulting penalty by Fredy Montero, diving to his right to parry the ball away for the first save of his league career.
Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller also made two saves on the night to record the shutout, both in the second half, the biggest in the 68th minute when he denied a curling shot from Juan Pablo Angel.
Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made two changes to the team that came back for a 2-1 win against the New England Revolution at CenturyLink Field. Osvaldo Alonso and Fredy Montero came into the team, for Lamar Neagle and Servando Carrasco.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Kasey Keller - James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl - Mauro Rosales (Lamar Neagle 93+), Erik Friberg, Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez (Pat Noonan 71) - Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero (Brad Evans 61).
Though Sounders FC saw their winning streak come to an end in the draw, they still extended their league undefeated streak to seven games (4-0-3).
“I thought we did all right. I thought the first half was good for us. I thought the second half there was a period of time where they definitely controlled the game,” Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid said. “At the end of the game I thought we did all right and we got ourselves back in the game.”
Fredy Montero returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous match with a quadriceps strain.
Brad Evans, who had missed back-to-back league contests with a hamstring strain, came on as a second-half substitute.
Over the club’s history, Sounders FC are now 3-for-7 from the penalty spot. Montero also missed an attempt in 2009. Only Brad Evans (2-for-2) and Nathan Sturgis (1-for-1) have converted penalties.
Sounders FC also extended their unbeaten streak away from home to five games (2-0-3) and they have now not allowed a goal in 273 minutes on their travels.
- “Yeah, it’s frustrating, not frustrating in a bad way but it’s much better than how we have played them the last three or four times so on that side we feel good.,” said goalkeeper Kasey Keller. “They are a good team. They have the most points in the league. There is a reason for that and we came here and gave them a good game.”
REFEREE: Jorge Gonzalez. SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): James Conlee; 4th: Allen Chapman. MLS Career: 62 games; FC/gm: 24.4; Y/gm: 3.3; R: 19; pens: 17
Sports Medicine Oregon INJURY REPORT:
PORTLAND TIMBERS – OUT: FW Spencer Thompson (R knee); DF Rodney Wallace (L knee); QUESTIONABLE: FW Bright Dike (R Achilles rupture); DF David Horst (L hip flexor); PROBABLE: DF Mamadou Danso (L shoulder); DF Jeremy Hall (groins); MF Adam Moffat (R ankle sprain); MF Peter Lowry (L quadriceps strain); GK Troy Perkins (R hip)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: POR: Jeremy Hall, Rodney Wallace… SEA: Servando Carrasco, James Riley
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SEA: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl