Matchday Preview: Timbers eye Cascadia glory vs. archrival Sounders
PORTLAND TIMBERS vs SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
JELD-WEN FIELD, Portland, Ore.
September 15, 2012 (WEEK 28, MLS Game #264)
12:30 p.m. PT (12:30pm PT, NBC, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940, presented by adidas)
The Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC meet in their second Cascadia Cup clash of the season, facing off Saturday afternoon at Jeld-Wen Field. The Timbers recorded a 2-1 win when the teams met in the Rose City in June. The Timbers come into the match off a 3-0 loss at Colorado that left them in ninth place in the Western Conference, 10 points behind the final playoff spot. Sounders FC can clinch their spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs with a victory, sitting in third place in the West after a 2-1 home win against Chivas USA last weekend.
PDF: Pregame Match Notes
WATCH: Wilkinson, Jewsbury up for SEA
The Portland Timbers saw their two-game winning streak put to a swift end, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Colorado Rapids last Wednesday evening at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The Timbers fell back into ninth place in the Western Conference with 27 points from 27 games.
- The Rapids nosed in front six minutes into the match. Drew Moor’s cross into the box was met by Tony Cascio, who deflected it right into the path of Andre Akpan, and he easily fired home from the center of the penalty area.
- The Rapids doubled their advantage in the 27th minute. While breaking on a counterattack, Jaime Castrillon crossed for Cascio, whose sliding shot was initially saved by Timbers 'keeper Donovan Ricketts. But after Cascio regained his footing, the rookie was able to turn home the rebound.
- Colorado sealed the game in the 86th minute. A corner kick to the far post was headed back across goal by Moor, where Castrillon powered a close-range header between goalkeeper Ricketts’ legs and into the back of the net.
- Timbers interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson made no changes to the side that defeated the Rapids 1-0 at JELD-WEN Field five nights earlier.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts - Kosuke Kimura, Hanyer Mosquera, David Horst, Steven Smith - Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury - Sal Zizzo (Danny Mwanga 77), Darlington Nagbe, Franck Songo'o (Mike Fucito 82) - Bright Dike (Kris Boyd 67)
- The Timbers had won back-to-back games for the first time this season, their Aug. 25 victory vs. Vancouver snapping an eight-game winless slide and giving Gavin Wilkinson his first MLS win as head coach, before the loss in Colorado.
- “When you go on the road you need everyone to get their jobs done and win their individual battles. You can’t come on the road and give up chances and make individual errors, and that’s what cost us,” said Wilkinson. We weren’t aware of players coming into the box, and I think you can isolate individual errors for the goals. … Some of the football [tonight] we played a little bit better, and on a different night maybe it’s a different result [if we get] different performances from one or two key players.”
- The Timbers remained winless away from home for the season, now 0-10-3 on their travels. After the visit by Seattle, Portland has four of their next five games away from home.
- “I think because of the results on the road, people maybe make a lot out of their performance than what it actually was,” said defender Steven Smith. “I think we’ve played well recently. I don’t think we played well in the second half at home against Colorado, so maybe that kind of got a little bit into the game tonight. There’s something that’s maybe dragging us down a little bit, the form on the road, and we’ve got to get a result somewhere.”
- The Timbers were also kept off the scoresheet for the first time since July 28, the last of three consecutive attacking shutouts.
- “We were looking to play forward, we were looking to find runners and made a couple passes where we were trying to thread the needle and get on the end of things. By and large I can’t fault the effort or the work rate of the guys, and that’s an improvement from last time we came here, where we sat back and didn’t play much and the other team had 60 percent of the ball,” said Wilkinson. “I think we kept the ball a little bit better, we did try to create chances. It’s still a young team. We’re looking for maturity and we need to learn from this.”
- The Timbers have collected seven points from their first three Cascadia Cup matches, and will clinch the Pacific Northwest competition with a win against Seattle. Last year, in the first year all three teams were in MLS, Seattle won the Cup; Portland last won the trophy in 2010, when the club was in the second flight.
- “The support that [the fans] given us throughout this whole thing has been great, and it’s a way for us to pay them back in a small way,” midfielder Jack Jewsbury said. “It means a lot to them, we know that, but it means a little bit more to the group in the locker room, as well, to bring home some sort of trophy.”
Portland vs. Seattle on NBC, 12:30pm - Saturday
SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
Seattle Sounders FC extended their undefeated streak to four games, getting a late goal for a 2-1 win against Chivas USA on Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. Sounders FC are in second place in the Western Conference with 47 points from 27 games.
- The visitors who struck first in the eighth minute. A good passing movement from Chivas opened up space at the edge of the box for Shalrie Joseph. The Grenadian slipped a short pass through to Nick LaBrocca, who turned and placed the ball inside the right-hand post.
- Sounders FC drew even in the 28th minute. Steve Zakuani drew a free kick on the left side of the area, and Christian Tiffert whipped the resulting free kick toward the back post for Eddie Johnson. He rose over his defender to head into the far corner.
- Just as it looked like the two teams would share the points, Sounders FC grabbed the win. Fredy Montero beat two Chivas defenders down the left touchline and swung a precise left-footed cross in front of the Chivas goal, where Johnson powered a diving header past the scrambling goalkeeper for the dramatic winner.
- Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid made three changes to the team that came away from FC Dallas with a 1-1 in Frisco. Zach Scott and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado came into the back four for Adam Johansson and Jeff Parke, and Eddie Johnson returned to the team for Mauro Rosales.
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-3-1-2): Michael Gspurning - Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez - Brad Evans (Cordell Cato 84), Osvaldo Alonso, Steve Zakuani (Andy Rose 75) - Christian Tiffert (Alex Caskey 61) - Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero.
- Since going winless over a club MLS record nine games from May 12 to July 4, Sounders FC have lost just once, going 6-1-2.
- “Coming from behind is something that we haven’t done this year and [we had] to show our character being able to do that,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “We left a little late, but that’s important too because the team has to know that no matter how long it goes, we’re always in it to win it.”
- Sounders FC recorded their first victory on the season after allowing the opening goal, having lost six and drawn four before the Chivas victory.
- “I think it’s a little bit of a fluke statistic,” Schmid said. “Last year we put ourselves behind oftentimes and then came back and scored and won games. It’s a little bit more because we had more offensive players on the field and we were a little exposed in the back. This year, we got off to a good start, we got early goals all the time, so we really didn’t have to come from behind which is the ideal thing that you want to have as a coach.”
- Eddie Johnson moved into sole possession of fourth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings with 13 goals after scoring both goals against Chivas USA. His 13 goals are the most in Seattle’s MLS history; nine of Johnson’s goals have come on headers.
- “It adds a dimension to our team. In year one we had a little bit of that in Nate Jaqua. Nate got a few goals with his head and provided that dimension for us. Since Nate, [Blaise] Nkufo was there, but Nkufo we didn't enough balls to him in the box and some of the running wasn't there at times,” said Schmid. “We really haven't had that option in the box for a while. He's been very sharp in their air and I'll take them whether they're headers or they're off the foot or they could be off his chest-as long as it goes into the back of the net.”
- Johnson has scored nine of his 13 goals over the past 12 games. Fredy Montero contributed his sixth assist; the Sounders FC strike pair has combined for 13 goals and three assists over the last nine matches.
- “As hot as Montero has been, he draws a lot of attention. That opens up some space for Eddie, he gets on two good headers – a good free kick from Tiffert on the one and the other one just a tremendous cross from Fredy Montero, so it's good to see them combine. I'm very pleased,” said Schmid.
- Designated Player Christian Tiffert collected his second assist in three games, making his fifth consecutive start for Sounders FC.
- “Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. I've said it before, it's not important if you get the statistic. That's not important. We want to win a championship as a team. It doesn't matter if Tiffert gets 10 assists or Montero gets 10 assists, we want to win games,” Tiffert said.
- For the first time since mid-April, Mauro Rosales did not feature in a league match. Tiffert also came off after 61 minutes, his shortest shift since coming on as a substitute in his MLS debut Aug. 5. “Mauro [Rosales] didn't play today because we didn't want to take a chance on his quad. [Christian] Tiffert had to come out-it was a little bit of an ankle that's been bothering him,” said Schmid.
- With Adam Johansson away on international duty, Zach Scott made his first start since Aug. 11.
- Sounders FC will guarantee their place in the MLS Cup Playoffs with a victory against their Cascadia Cup rivals, while also keeping alive their bid to win the Pacific Northwest championship.
“We're looking forward to going down in front of the Timbers Army and putting on a result. We want to put ourselves in a position to win a Cascadia Cup, but also want to put ourselves in a position to solidify second place,” said Schmid. “We want three more points. We want to put ourselves in a position where if San Jose falters, we're right there and they know it, and we still have a six-point game against San Jose coming up in two weeks, as well.”
REFEREE: Ricardo Salazar. AR1 (bench): Peter Manikowski; AR2 (opposite): Mike Kampmeinert; 4th: Jesus Cisneros
MLS Career: 157 games; FC/gm: 27.0; Y/gm: 3.5; R: 45; pens: 57
- PORTLAND TIMBERS – OUT: DF Chris Taylor (R hip surgery); QUESTIONABLE: FW Mike Fucito (hip contusion); FW Danny Mwanga (L ankle sprain); PROBABLE: MF Freddie Braun (abdominal strain); DF Andrew Jean-Baptiste (L hamstring strain) …
- SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – OUT: FW Babayele Sodade (R knee ACL tear); DF Andrew Duran (L knee ACL surgery); QUESTIONABLE: GK Andrew Weber (R adductor strain); FW David Estrada (L foot fracture); PROBABLE: MF Osvaldo Alonso (head injury); MF Andy Rose (rib fracture)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: POR: Steven Smith (caution accumulation; through Sept. 15)
- SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: POR: Jack Jewsbury … SEA: Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero
- SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Kris Boyd, Jack Jewsbury, Hanyer Mosquera, Lovel Palmer, Kosuke Kimura, Diego Chara … SEA: Andy Rose, Zach Scott, Marc Burch, Osvaldo Alonso, Servando Carrasco, Leo Gonzalez
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Timbers 1 win, 5 goals … Sounders FC 1 win, 5 goals … Ties 1
AT PORTLAND (2 meetings): Timbers 1 win, 4 goals … Sounders FC 1 win, 4 goals … Ties 0
FUTURE MATCH: 10/7: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers, 6 p.m. PT (ESPN/Deportes)
• The archrivals are meeting for the second time this season. The Timbers rode first-half goals from Kris Boyd and David Horst to a 2-1 win June 24 at Jeld-Wen Field.
• 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 77 times in official competitions, Seattle winning 40 times, Portland winning 28, and 9 draws.
• Coaches record: Sigi Schmid vs. POR: P3 W1 L1 D1 … Gavin Wilkinson vs. SEA: first game
LAST MEETING (MLS)
6/24: POR 2, SEA 1 (Boyd 16; Horst 25 – Johnson 58)
• Portland took the lead in the 16th minute. Kris Boyd snuck a run behind the Seattle back line perfectly timed with a Steven Smith cross, and coolly tapped home to beat Seattle goalkeeper Andrew Weber.
• The Timbers added to their lead nine minutes later when David Horst headed home a Franck Songo’o corner kick for his first MLS goal.
• Seattle came back into the match, pulling a goal back in the 58th minute. Eddie Johnson ran past a defender onto a ball played over the top on the right, pulled up at the corner of the box and fired a left-footed blast to the top far corner.
• The rivalry boiled over in the 90th minute. Forward Fredy Montero saw red for sending Horst sprawling to the turf off the ball after the Portland defender exchanged heated words with Johnson. Portland defender Lovel Palmer was also shown red when he elbowed Johnson during the ensuing scuffle.
• PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-1-3-2): Troy Perkins - Jack Jewsbury, David Horst, Mamadou Danso, Steven Smith - Diego Chara - Kalif Alhassan (Sal Zizzo 54), Darlington Nagbe, Franck Songo'o (Lovel Palmer 78; sent off 89) - Kris Boyd, Mike Fucito (Danny Mwanga 66).
• SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-4-2): Andrew Weber - Zach Scott, Jeff Parke (Patrick Ianni 42), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch - Brad Evans (Andy Rose 46), Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Alex Caskey (Cordell Cato 75) - Eddie Johnson, Fredy Montero (sent off 91+).