Matchday Preview: Portland, Seattle set for massive Cascadia clash
PORTLAND TIMBERS vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
JELD-WEN FIELD, Portland, Ore.
June 24, 2012 (WEEK 16, MLS Game #145)
2 p.m. PT (ESPN/Deportes; 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940)
One of the marquee rivalries in all of Major League Soccer takes center stage on ESPN as the Portland Timbers play host to their Cascadia Cup arch-rivals, Seattle Sounders FC. The Timbers are coming off a 1-0 loss at the LA Galaxy last weekend that ended a four-game unbeaten run. Sounders FC are in the midst of a club record six-game winless streak, coming back for a 1-1 home draw with Sporting Kansas City at midweek.
ESPN Preview: Portland vs. Seattle
The Portland Timbers saw their undefeated run come to an end at four games, losing 1-0 to the LA Galaxy on Sunday afternoon at The Home Depot Center. The Timbers are in a tie for eighth place in the Western Conference with 13 points from 13 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Galaxy get back on track with win over Timbers
- The game's only goal came in the 61st minute. David Beckham swung a corner kick to the far post and Todd Dunivant ran onto the floating ball and headed it down, off the right post and into the net.
- Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders made four saves for the club's first shutout of the season, in his first league match since April 21.
- Timbers head coach John Spencer made four changes to the side that reached a 1-1 draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at JELD-WEN Field. David Horst and Mike Chabala came in for Eric Brunner and Steven Smith in the back four, Franck Songo'o started wide in the midfield for Eric Alexander, and Danny Mwanga made his Timbers debut in place of the player he was traded for, Jorge Perlaza.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-3-1-2): Troy Perkins - Jack Jewsbury, Hanyer Mosquera, David Horst, Mike Chabala - Kalif Alhassan (Eric Alexander 79), Diego Chara, Franck Songo'o (Sal Zizzo 65) - Darlington Nagbe - Kris Boyd (Mike Fucito 73), Danny Mwanga
The Cascadia Rivalry - Timbers vs. Sounders
The Timbers were shut out for the third time in five games in the loss at LA Galaxy. But it was their only loss in that time; they were 1-0-3 in their previous four games.
"The good thing about it is we're creating, the negative is we're not taking the opportunities. In games like this when you're on the road especially you've got to try to capitalize on the half chances or the few chances you get and at the moment we're not doing that," said Timbers head coach John Spencer. "And it's not just the forwards, you look at your wide midfield players, attacking midfield players, they've got to get shots on goal and they've got to score goals and they've got to contribute also."
Danny Mwanga, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 SuperDraft, played the full 90 minutes in his Portland debut after being acquired from Philadelphia Union.
Mwanga had made just five starts for Union, starting the final three games the club played before the international break and his move to Portland.
"I thought he did well in the first half," Spencer said. "I thought he looked a little fatigued in the second half like a couple guys did. He obviously hasn't been playing regular football for a number of weeks so the quicker we get him up to speed and get his game fitness, it will be better for him. I thought his hold-up play at times was good, but second half he tired a little bit."
Mwanga started alongside Kris Boyd, who played 73 minutes before being taken off for Mike Fucito, who made his third appearance for the Timbers since being acquired from Montreal.
"It's only our first game together, I think we did pretty well," Mwanga said. "We had numerous chances in the first 15 to 20 minutes to score a goal, and it was just unlucky not to put that away. I think just looking back, it's only our first game together I think we did really decent."
Portland's 12 goals for the season rank 16th overall in MLS. They have scored just two goals in six away matches, the poorest road attacking record in the league.
"I think it's just been bad finishing," said Boyd. "I think when you look at the chances we had, we've created enough chances to win enough games. We've not taken our chances, sometimes these things happen but it's up to us as strikers, midfielders, defenders to start taking them when they come along."
The Timbers do not face an Eastern Conference club again until Aug. 15, in the midst of an 11-game stretch all against Western clubs.
- "The games are ticking down now. You can't look at games being any bigger than the other. We need to start picking up points, we know that, we're not dumb," Spencer said. "There's too many games clicking by and saying ëoh we should have, could have done this, could have gotten a decision.' I'm sick and tired of hearing the word potential. To be honest, if I hear it one more time I'm probably going to throw up. For me, potential gets you your contract, gets you on the field, then you've got to produce. We've got too many guys right now not producing to the best of their abilities."
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC had their winless run extended to an MLS club record six matches, playing to a 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday evening at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in fourth place in the Western Conference with 25 points from 15 games.
HIGHLIGHTS: Sporting sneak out of Seattle with a draw
- Sporting KC jumped out an early lead. After Seattle could not clear their lines, Aurelien Collin nodded the ball back to Jacob Peterson, who fired a shot from the right corner of the box. His effort deflected off Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso and looped into the far upper corner.
- But Sounders FC pulled even in the 15th minute with a stunning goal. Mauro Rosales sent in a free kick from the right side from about 25 yards out, and Patrick Ianni met it with a spectacular side-footed volley from the center of the box that slammed into the back of the goal.
- Seattle midfielder Alvaro Fernandez was shown a straight red card for a tackle from behind on Sporting's Roger Espinoza in stoppage time.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made four changes to the team that went down to a 4-1 defeat by the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo. Andrew Weber came in between the posts for Bryan Meredith, Patrick Ianni came in at center back for the suspended Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, and Osvaldo Alonso and Alex Caskey came into the midfield for Andy Rose and Alvaro Fernandez.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-1-3-2): Andrew Weber - Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Patrick Ianni, Marc Burch - Osvaldo Alonso - Brad Evans (Andy Rose 72) - Mauro Rosales (Alvaro Fernandez 81; sent off 89), Alex Caskey - Eddie Johnson (Sammy Ochoa 80), Fredy Montero.
Ianni, Schmid recap KC match, look to Portland
The draw extended Sounders FC's winless streak to six games, a club record in MLS, surpassing the five games from May 2-June 6, 2009.
"I thought it was a major jump forward from the way we played in Montreal," said Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid. "I thought our effort and our desire was very good and unfortunately it didn't bear the ultimate fruit for us in terms of winning the game, but we did get a point tonight and we've got to build upon this and move forward."
Over the course of the streak, though, Seattle has followed a loss with a draw on each occasion. Sounders FC haven't lost back-to-back league games since dropping the first two games to open last season.
"We don't lose two games in a row - we've avoided that for a very long time and I thought our response was good," said Schmid. "You're going to have streaks. You're going to have good streaks and you're going to have bad streaks, so we're in a streak right now that's not a good streak but I'm very confident that we're close to climbing out of it."
Andrew Weber made his first appearance in goal this season, and his first MLS appearance since playing in two games for the San Jose Earthquakes in 2009.
"We just felt it was time for [Bryan] Meredith to look at it from the outside," said Schmid. "[Andrew] Weber had been training well after overcoming his ankle injury, so we felt it was a good chance for him to start and I thought he was pretty good about what he did, he was pretty clean."
Said Weber: "I felt good. I felt really good coming for balls. It's just going to get better. It's been since 2009 since I've played in a good, competitive game, but the energy of the fans and the atmosphere was great. Hopefully we can build on that and just keep rolling."
Patrick Ianni made his first appearance since May 5, having been out since with a back injury. "Obviously, his first game in well over a month. We're concerned about his fitness depending how the game goes, but I thought he held up well fitness-wise and obviously the physical nature of the game is something that he can deal with and play to. So I thought it went well," Schmid said.
Ianni scored his first goal since May 28, 2011, when he scored against Real Salt Lake. "Best goal in practice, games since I was born, yeah," said Ianni. " ... I'm not a goal scorer. Fredy Montero's a goal-scorer. Eddie Johnson's a goal-scorer. But I was happy to get that one back for us."
Osvaldo Alonso returned to the Sounders FC lineup after missing two matches, playing behind Mauro Rosales in the heart of the midfield.
"We went to a diamond midfield and felt that would work better based on the way Kansas City plays," said Schmid. " ... I thought Mauro's [Rosales] game today was much better. He took a step forward partly because of the position, but I think also was just his effort and if he would have played on the right he would have been just as effective. But for us and for this game I thought that was a better way to go."
Steve Zakuani returned to the Sounders FC squad as an available substitute for the first time since Apr. 22, 2011 when he broke his leg.
- "Zakuani we felt had been getting closer. Based on where we were injury-wise and everything else we felt he was a good option into the 18," Schmid said. "One of the reasons I didn't come with him was because of the physical nature of the game and the referee wasn't really protecting players and I didn't think that was a good environment to throw him into in the first game."
REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. SAR (bench): Peter Manikowski; JAR (opposite): Mike Kampmeinert; 4th: Jasen Anno
MLS Career: 153 games; FC/gm: 27.0; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 42; pens: 57
- PORTLAND TIMBERS - OUT: DF Eric Brunner (concussion); DF Rodney Wallace (R ankle sprain)
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC - OUT: FW Babayele Sodade (R knee ACL tear); FW David Estrada (L foot fracture); DOUBTFUL: GK Michael Gspurning (R hip strain); DF Leo Gonzalez (L quad strain); DF Adam Johansson (R hamstring strain); MF Steve Zakuani (R leg fracture); QUESTIONABLE: GK Josh Ford (R knee stress fracture); DF Patrick Ianni (lower back pain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: POR: Hanyer Mosquera; SEA: Alvaro Fernandez (through June 24)
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SEA: Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Kris Boyd, Lovel Palmer, Diego Chara ... SEA: Osvaldo Alonso, Zach Scott
ALL-TIME (2 meetings): Timbers 0 wins, 3 goals ... Sounders FC 1 win, 4 goals ... Ties 1
AT PORTLAND (2 meetings): Timbers 0 wins, 2 goals ... Sounders FC 1 win, 3 goals ... Ties 0
FUTURE MATCH: 9/15: Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 12:30 p.m. PT (NBC Sports); 10/7: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers, 6 p.m. PT (ESPN/Deportes)
LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/14: SEA 1, POR 1 (Fernandez 52 - Danso 65)
7/10: POR 2, SEA 3 (own goal 46; Perlaza 69 - Montero 57, 74; Alonso 83)
- Sounders FC had the upper hand in the first year of the clubs' Cascadia Cup rivalry in Major League Soccer. The teams played to a 1-1 draw in Seattle, before Sounders FC took a 3-2 victory on July 10 at JELD-WEN Field.
- The clubs have a long history against each other, dating back to the North American Soccer League, when the Timbers played their first ever game against Seattle on May 2, 1975.
- 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. Overall, the clubs have met 76 times in official competitions, Seattle winning 40 times, Portland winning 27, and 9 draws.
- Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. POR: P2 W1 L0 D1 ... John Spencer vs. SEA: P2 W0 L1 D1