MatchDay Preview: Portland hosts Toronto FC at JELD-WEN in key showdown

Timbers seek midseason push as Reds come to town

Timbers vs. TFC Preview Image, 7.30.11

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

JELD-WEN FIELD, Portland, Ore.
8:00 p.m. ET (ROOT-NW)
July 30, 2011 (WEEK 20; MLS Game 198)

The Portland Timbers meet Toronto FC for the second time when the clubs face off Saturday evening at JELD-WEN Field (8:00 pm PT, ROOT SPORTS, 750 AM The Game, La Pantera 940 AM). The Timbers return to league play after suffering a 1-0 defeat at the Columbus Crew last weekend. Toronto FC have lost four in a row in MLS competition, their last loss a 4-2 reversal in Kansas City, though they won in the CONCACAF Champions League at midweek.
 


PDF:  Pre-Game Match Notes
PDF:  MLS Game Guide



HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME: Toronto FC 1 win, 2 goals ...Timbers 0 wins, 0 goals ... 0 ties

  • Javier Martina scored twice, on either side of halftime, to give Toronto FC a 2-0 victory in the first meeting between the clubs, March 26 at BMO Field.
  • Coaches record: Aron Winter v POR: P1 W1 L0 T0 ... John Spencer vs. TOR: P1 W0 L1 T0

LAST MEETING (MLS)
3/26: TOR 2, POR 0 (Martina 14, 60)


PORTLAND TIMBERS
The Portland Timbers weren't able to build on their first road win, falling 1-0 to the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. The Timbers have 21 points from 19 games, sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • After the Crew had an apparent goal cleared off the line by Darlington Nagbe, the game's lone goal came out of a similarly wild sequence on 69 minutes.
  • Tommy Heinemann's initial shot hit the left post past diving Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins. The ball bounced back out into the goalmouth and Gaven was able to flick the ball back toward goal, where it deflected off the chest of Portland defender Mamadou Danso on the goal line and into the net.
  • Timbers coach John Spencer made two changes to the team that came away from Toyota Park with a 1-0 win against the Chicago Fire. Lovel Palmer and Eric Brunner came into the back four in place of Jeremy Hall and Kevin Goldthwaite.
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-1-4-1): Troy Perkins - Lovel Palmer, Mamadou Danso, Eric Brunner, Rodney Wallace - James Marcelin - Kalif Alhassan, Diego Chara (Sal Zizzo 74), Jack Jewsbury, Darlington Nagbe (Peter Lowry 79) - Jorge Perlaza (Kenny Cooper 46).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Timbers lost for the third time in the last four games. They've won just once since reeling off four games unbeaten from April 30-May 21.
     
  • "I thought it was a very even game, it comes down to us making a mistake, when you control a ball in the six-yard box and you take a bad touch generally you are going to get punished and that's what happened to us," Timbers coach John Spencer.
     
  • The 1-0 loss was the third by that scoreline in the last eight games; they also won a game 1-0 in that span.
     
  • "I think we did an OK job, you know most of the game of denying service and keeping everything outside 30 yards for them, in all honesty, I think 90 percent of the game was played in the middle of the field," said goalkeeper Troy Perkins. "It's not a fun game to watch for anyone on TV or in the stands but you know it was going to be down to who made the mistake and obviously we did."
     
  • The Timbers have allowed nine goals in the final 15 minutes of games, one fewer than MLS leader San Jose.
     
  • "It's kind of been the story for us, we are getting punished by mistakes, some of our efforts there, we are working really hard and it's just one little thing and we are getting punished for it, and if we clean that up we have the talent I think, and we have the right players, and the right system," defender Eric Brunner said. "It's just those little things."
     
  • Kenny Cooper came off the bench for a fourth consecutive game, after starting the first 15 MLS games in Timbers history.
     
  • "Anytime you start a game, or come in, you want to make positive contributions to the team, that's certainly my goal, whether I start games or come off the bench," Cooper said. "I want to be a spark and make good contributions to the team."
     
  • On Tuesday, the Timbers defeated CA Independiente of Argentina 2-0 at Jeld-Wen Field. Sal Zizzo and Brian Umony scored three minutes apart in the first half to lead Portland to the win.
     
  • Here's the Timbers team: Adin Brown (Jake Gleeson 46), Jeremy Hall, Steve Purdy, David Horst, Mike Chabala, Sal Zizzo (Rodrigo Lopez 57), Peter Lowry, Freddie Braun, Brian Umony, Kenny Cooper, Eddie Johnson (Bright Dike 65).
     
  • "Probably with the exception of the Ajax game, I thought we've played some exhilarating football at times. I thought there wasn't one player on the field tonight, especially in the first half, that didn't look a quality player tonight," Spencer said.


TORONTO FC
Toronto FC went down to a fourth consecutive defeat, falling 4-2 at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Livestrong Sporting Park. TFC has 18 points from 21 games on the season, sitting in a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • Sporting took the lead in the 28th minute. Jéferson's corner kick took a ricochet in the box and Kei Kamara rose and unleashed a flying scissor kick that found the net. Then just five minutes later, he doubled his haul when Roger Espinoza's floating cross found him at the far post, where he rose high above Yourassowsky and nodded the ball home.
  • Omar Bravo and Jéferson then combined for Sporting's third goal in nine minutes, Jéferson slipping Bravo through on goal where the Mexican rounded Frei and finished from an acute angle.
  • Toronto FC pulled a goal back in the 50th minute when Ryan Johnson curled the ball to the back post and Danny Koevermans headed it off the ground and into the top corner.
  • Sporting restored their lead when Graham Zusi slipped Chance Myers down the right sideline and the right back found Bravo alone at the six-yard box, where he side-footed the ball home. TFC pulled another goal back when Johnson latched onto a weak bass from defender Daneil Cyrus and hooked it inside the right post.
  • TFC head coach Aron Winter made four changes to the team that lost 1-0 to FC Dallas at BMO Field. Richard Eckersley, Maicon Santos, Gianluca Zavarise and Nick Soolsma came into the team, for Ty Harden, Danleigh Borman, Nathan Sturgis and Joao Plata.
  • TORONTO FC (4-3-3): Stefan Frei - Richard Eckersley, Eddy Viator, Andy Iro, Mikael Yourassowsky (Ashtone Morgan 58) - Maicon Santos (Matt Stinson 44), Torsten Frings (Doneil Henry 80), Gianluca Zavarise - Nick Soolsma, Danny Koevermans, Ryan Johnson.

TEAM NEWS

  • TFC's four-game losing streak matches the club record, set twice previously, both times during the club's inaugural season in 2007 (April 7-28; Aug. 12-Sept. 8).
     
  • "I feel that the first 20 minutes we were the better team, we had the better opportunities, but it came back to haunt us that we didn't get a goal. After 30-35 minutes, we had given away the game," said TFC head coach Aron Winter. "We made mistakes; the first three goals were all our fault. In the second half, after some subs, we were playing well, getting some good opportunities. It was positive for the coming games."
     
  • Koevermans' goal was the first for Toronto FC in 356 minutes, since Nick Soolsma's penalty kick that gave TFC their 1-0 league win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on June 29. It was the longest goalless streak in MLS this season.
     
  • "That's why I feel sorry for my teammates and I, that I didn't make the first chance. When it's 0-0 I have to score it, that's important. I scored a goal when we we're 3-0 down, that's nothing," Koevermans said. "So I hope the next game that a chance comes up again and I make it and it will be an important one so we get the points."
     
  • Ryan Johnson's goal was not only the first since moving to Toronto FC, it was his first of the season, including games with San Jose. He scored one goal in 2010 and netting 11 times in 2009.
     
  • "It depends on how you affect the game. I can put crosses in, finish and I can use my pace to get behind the defense. I just try to be used in the best situation I can to help the team," Johnson said. "I tried my best to help, but I just have to do a little more."
     
  • TFC have allowed 15 goals in the last six games. They hadn't scored two goals in a game since a 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy on June 11.
     
  • "We came back and scored two goals. In the second half if you look at it, we tried to win the second half and we did 2-1, but we can't go down 3-0 and expect to win," Johnson said. "Next game we have to start better and put away our chances early and it's a different game."
     
  • On Wednesday, Toronto FC came away with a 2-1 win in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round tie vs. Real Estelí of Nicaragua at BMO Field. Joao Plata scored both goals for TFC (56, 72); Alesandro Calero scored a late away goal that could be crucial for Estelí.
     
  • Here's the TFC team: Milos Kocic; Andy Iro, Doneil Henry, Ashtone Morgan, Ryan Johnson (Javier Martina 78), Danny Koevermans, Matthew Stinson (Julian de Guzman 73), Nick Soolsma, Torsten Frings, Richard Eckersley, Gianluca Zavarise (Joao Plata 49)
     

REFEREE: Kevin Stott. SAR (bench): Adam Wienckowski; JAR (opposite): Brian Poeschel; 4th: Matthew Foerster

MLS Career: 204 games; FC/gm: 25.8; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 56; pens: 41

SPORTS MEDICINE OREGON INJURY REPORT: PORTLAND TIMBERS—OUT: DF Kevin Goldthwaite (L knee ACL rupture); FW Spencer Thompson (R knee); PROBABLE: FW Bright Dike (R Achilles rupture); DF Jeremy Hall (groin soreness); GK Troy Perkins (R hip soreness) ... TORONTO FC—OUT: MF Elbekay Bouchiba (R knee surgery recovery); DF Adrian Cann (R knee surgery recovery); DF Dicoy Williams (R knee surgery recovery); MF Leandre Griffit (abdominal strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Julian de Guzman (L knee swelling); MF Terry Dunfield (R adductor strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS:

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: POR: Rodney Wallace ... TOR: Terry Dunfield

SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Diego Chara, James Marcelin, Lovel Palmer ... TOR: Danleigh Borman, Ryan Johnson, Javier Martina