KeyBank Match-up: Mikael Silvestre vs. Chris Wondolowski

EPL veteran Silvestre draws on experience to shut down crafty Wondolowski

KBMU vs. SJ, Mikael Silvestre, 4.14.13

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer
Adin Brown's
KeyBank Match-up
Mikael Silvestre
D
vs. Chris Wondolowski
F
Won 5 Premier League championships and one UEFA Champions League  title   Tied all-time MLS goal record in 2012 with 27 goals and won MLS Most Valuable Player Award
Opta: Won 6 headers vs. HOU   Opta: Had 1 goal, 3 shots on target vs. VAN
Opta: Had 9 clearances and 3  ball recoveries vs. HOU   Opta: Had 3 interceptions and 6 ball recoveries last week vs. VAN

Chris Wondolowski. He is an San Jose Earthquakes forward that Portland Timbers fans have seen a lot of since their rise to MLS. Between inter-conference league games and San Jose's presence at the preseason Portland tournament two years in a row, Portland has seen their fair share of the dangerous striker. He famously came to Portland last season on the last game of the year looking to break Roy Lassiter's MLS single-season goal scoring record. A penalty kick got him to tie it, but Portland buckled down to prevent the record from being broken.

Now with three goals already on the season, Wondolowski is back into his goal scoring ways. He finishes clinically, springs to the moment, and is a master at timing his runs and finding open space.

For Portland, the job to help stop him starts with Mikael Silvestre and the rest of the Timbers backline. Last week, Silvestre & Co. helped hold a talented Houston Dynamo team to only two shots on goal. With San Jose, they'll be asked to do the same against Wondolowski as well as any of their equally opportunistic forwards in Alan Gordon, Steven Lenhart and sparkplug Mike Fucitio. Silvestre's long and illustrious career of defending against some of the best forwards in the world brings with a calmness on the ball and confidence in redistributing it back upfield for a Portland counter. Come Sunday evening (7:30 pm PT, NBCSN, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940), that experience will come in handy as Portland looks to continue their good run of form.

They said it:

"We have a very difficult opponent coming here in San Jose. They were the Supporters' Shield winners last year and it's going to be a tough game."

-Caleb Porter, Timbers head coach