MatchDay Preview: Timbers set for battle with resurgent Crew
The Columbus Crew return home after a quick cross-country excursion to take on the Portland Timbers for the second time this season when the clubs meet Saturday at Crew Stadium (5:00pm PT, Fox 12, estrellaTV 8.3, 750 AM The Game, La Pantera 940). The Crew went down to a 1-0 defeat at the LA Galaxy on Wednesday evening. The Timbers put an end to a seven-game winless run in their last league game, a 1-0 win at Chicago last weekend.
ALL-TIME: Crew 0 wins, 0 goals … Timbers 1 win, 1 goal … Ties 0
- Eric Brunner scored against his former club to lead the Timbers to a 1-0 win against Columbus on May 21 at JELD-WEN Field in the first meeting between the clubs.
- Coaches record: Robert Warzycha v POR: P1 W01 L1 T0 … John Spencer vs. CLB: P1 W1 L0 T0
LAST MEETING (MLS):
5/21: POR 1, CLB 0 (Brunner 46)
- The game’s lone goal came barely 30 seconds after the second-half restart. Jack Jewsbury took a quick free kick from beyond the right corner of the area to midfielder Kalif Alhassan inside the box. He then floated a cross to the far post where Eric Brunner nodded the ball into the goal.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-1-3-2): Troy Perkins - Jeremy Hall, Mamadou Danso, Eric Brunner, Rodney Wallace - Diego Chara - Darlington Nagbe (Sal Zizzo 46), Jack Jewsbury, Kalif Alhassan (James Marcelin 89) - Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza (Ryan Pore 84).
- COLUMBUS CREW (4-4-2): William Hesmer - Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, Rich Balchan - Eddie Gaven, Dejan Rusmir (Dilly Duka 65), Emmanuel Ekpo, Robbie Rogers - Emilio Renteria (Andres Mendoza 38), Tommy Heinemann (Jeff Cunningham 74).
The Portland Timbers put an end to their seven-game winless streak, coming away from Toyota Park with a 1-0 win against the Chicago Fire on Saturday afternoon. The Timbers have 21 points from 18 games, sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference.
- The game's lone goal came in the 25th minute. Referee Elias Bazakos adjudged Fire left back Gonzalo Segares took down Jorge Perlaza at the top of the box, and Portland midfielder Jack Jewsbury made no mistake with the resulting spot kick, firing his shot low and to the left past the diving Sean Johnson.
- Timbers coach John Spencer made two changes to the team that suffered a late 3-2 loss to Seattle Sounders FC at JELD-WEN Field. Jeremy Hall and Kevin Goldthwaite came into the back four for Steve Purdy and the suspended Eric Brunner.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-5-1): Troy Perkins - Jeremy Hall, Kevin Goldthwaite (David Horst 10), Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace - Kalif Alhassan, Jack Jewsbury, James Marcelin, Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe (Sal Zizzo 72) - Jorge Perlaza (Kenny Cooper 64).
The Timbers won for the first time on the road in MLS in the win at Chicago. They had lost five of their seven league games away from JELD-WEN Field; they came into the Fire game after back-to-back shutout road defeats.
“We’ve been in a bit of a rut for the past month, month and a half, in terms of getting results on the road. It feels great to get that first one, to get that weight off your chest,” said midfielder Jack Jewsbury.
Jewsbury set a career-high with his fifth goal of the season, converting a penalty kick for the 1-0 win at Chicago. Jewsbury’s previous single-season best was four goals for Kansas City in 2005.
- “It’s been one of the things we’ve been talking about all week: getting the first goal on the road, which we haven’t done,” Jewsbury said. “I think it was important for the guys to get the lead.”
The Timbers maintained their new system with Jorge Perlaza serving as the lone out-and-out striker.
“I wasn’t too happy the way it panned out in the first half against Seattle, but I thought it got better as the game got on with it,” Spencer said. “And we did well against Chicago with it. So I see no reason why we wouldn’t stick with the same formation against Columbus.”
The Timbers were forced into a change after just 10 minutes, when center back Kevin Goldthwaite suffered a knee injury. Goldthwaite sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in addition to a medial collateral ligament injury to his left knee and will be lost for the remainder of the season.
“I felt after that we wobbled a little bit and lost a little bit of our composure,” said Timbers head coach John Spencer. “They came into the game the last five or 10 minutes of the first half; they were pressing us back and pressing us back. We did a good job defending and we were mentally strong tonight.”
The Timbers also recorded a clean sheet for the first time since the May 21 1-0 home win vs. Columbus (a run of seven games), after conceding 12 goals in their previous three games.
“I thought Troy Perkins pulled off two or three unbelievable saves, especially the one he saved with his foot,” Spencer said. “… I felt that when they threw the ball in the box, defensively we handled the first and second balls and headers pretty easily at times.”
On Wednesday, the Timbers fell 3-2 to English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion in a friendly at JELD-WEN Field. Goals from Eddie Johnson and Darlington Nagbe staked Portland to a lead after 29 minutes, but James Morrison (65), Somen Tchoyi (68) and Gabriel Tamas (91+) gave WBA the victory.
- Here’s the Timbers team: Adin Brown (Jake Gleeson 46), Jeremy Hall, Eric Brunner (Mamadou Danso 46), Steve Purdy, Chris Taylor, Darlington Nagbe (Rodrigo Lopez 46), Freddie Braun, Peter Lowry, Sal Zizzo (Brian Umony 61), Eddie Johnson (James Marcelin 82), Kenny Cooper (Bright Dike 66).
The Columbus Crew went down to a 1-0 defeat to the LA Galaxy on Wednesday evening at The Home Depot Center. The Crew have 28 points from 20 games on the season, in third place in the Eastern Conference.
- The game's lone goal came in the 70th minute. David Beckham swung a free kick toward goal, and the shot hit the wall and bounced out to Sean Franklin. Some 30 yards from goal, Franklin ripped a low shot that deflected off Eric Gehrig and escaped Crew 'keeper William Hesmer to the back of the net.
- Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made no changes to the team that played to a scoreless draw against the San Jose Earthquakes at Crew Stadium.
- COLUMBUS CREW (4-1-4-1): William Hesmer - Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, Josh Gardner (Jeff Cunningham 88) - Eric Gehrig - Eddie Gaven, Bernardo Anor (Justin Meram 75), Emmanuel Ekpo, Robbie Rogers - Andres Mendoza (Tommy Heinemann 4).
The Crew were shut out for a second consecutive game and a third match in the last four. Since a four-goal outburst against Colorado on June 26 (a season-high), the Crew have scored just one goal – the last-minute winner from Jeff Cunningham in Vancouver.
The Crew were forced into a change after just three minutes when striker Andrés Mendoza – the club’s leading scorer with seven goals – was forced off with a suspected hamstring injury. Tommy Heinemann came on to fill the lone striker’s role.
“I think we started off moving the ball pretty well. In the last couple of minutes in the first half, we got a little bit distracted and they served good crosses. I think overall I think we did really pretty good. It was a shame that they scored the goal off a rebound,” said Bernardo Anor.
The Crew have allowed just one goal in the last three games, William Hesmer seeing a 264-minute shutout streak come to an end with the Galaxy’s deflected winner.
“I thought we defended great. I thought our defending was really good. Our guys were fighting hard, tough to play against, tough to breakdown. There is only so much pressure you can absorb before you give up an unfortunate goal,” said Hesmer.
Columbus conceded 16 corner kicks on the night, but goalkeeper William Hesmer was called upon to make only three saves.
- “We gave them a little bit too many corner kicks. Other than that, I don’t think we gave them too much,” said Crew coach Robert Warzycha. “They had one chance in the first half. Overall, I think we played pretty well. That last pass hurt us a little bit. And, they got a goal on a set piece.”
REFEREE: Edvin Jurisevic. SAR (bench): Chris Strickland; JAR (opposite): Adam Garner; 4th: Allen Chapman
MLS Career: 35 games; FC/gm: 22.0; Y/gm: 4.0; R: 4; pens: 5
Sports Medicine Oregon INJURY REPORT: COLUMBUS CREW – OUT: DF Josh Williams (R hip labral tear); MF Dilly Duka (R ankle sprain); MF Tony Tchani (R knee inflammation); QUESTIONABLE: FW Emilio Renteria (L quad strain); DF Shaun Francis (L hamstring strain); PROBABLE: MF Rich Balchan (L adductor strain) … PORTLAND TIMBERS – OUT: DF Kevin Goldthwaite (L knee ACL rupture); QUESTIONABLE: FW Spencer Thompson (R knee); PROBABLE: FW Bright Dike (R Achilles rupture); DF Jeremy Hall (groin soreness); GK Troy Perkins (R hip soreness); DF Rodney Wallace (L knee)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: POR: Jeremy Hall (caution accumulation; through July 23)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: CLB: Julius James … POR: Rodney Wallace
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CLB: Kevin Burns, Tommy Heinemann, Tony Tchani … POR: Diego Chara, Lovel Palmer