Matchday Preview: Portland Timbers vs. New England Revolution at JELD-WEN Field

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Matchday Preview, Timbers vs. NE, 5.1.13

Photo Credit: 
Photo by David Blair

PORTLAND TIMBERS vs NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
JELD-WEN FIELD, Portland, Ore.
May 2, 2013 (WEEK 10, MLS Game #80)
7:30 p.m. PT (ROOT SPORTS, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940)

A pair of teams coming off quality victories kick off the week when the Portland Timbers return home to face the New England Revolution at Jeld-Wen Field. The Timbers are coming off a 3-2 victory at Sporting Kansas City, their MLS club record undefeated streak now at six games. The Revolution put an end to a five-game winless streak last weekend, knocking off Philadelphia Union 2-0 at home.

PORTLAND TIMBERS
The Portland Timbers stretched their undefeated streak to six games in impressive fashion, coming back twice for a 3-2 victory against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at Sporting Park. The Timbers are in third place in the Western Conference with 13 points from 8 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Sporting opened the scoring just 44 seconds into the game. Chance Myers ran onto Matt Besler's long throw-in and headed past Donovan Ricketts for the fastest goal ever at Sporting Park, and the third-fastest in Kansas City club history.
     
  • But the lead didn't hold up long. After SKC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen had to dive to parry away Rodney Wallace's blast, Ryan Johnson headed Diego Valeri's corner kick off Benny Feilhaber's head and into the roof of the net for the 24th-minute equalizer.
     
  • Myers struck again just five minutes later, tapping the ball home after a long ball from Benny Feilhaber from a free kick was followed by a short square ball from center back Aurelien Collin in the heart of the area.
     
  • Yet in the 33rd minute, Diego Valeri set Ryan Johnson completely free behind the KC defense. He drove into the area unmolested before sliding the ball across to Darlington Nagbe, who tapped into the empty goal for 2-2.
     
  • The Timbers hit for the winner in the 58th minute. Diego Chara capitalized on a loose ball in midfield and slotted a through ball to a streaking Wallace, who slipped the ball past Nielsen from an angle.
     
  • Timbers head coach Caleb Porter made no changes to the team that gained a 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium
     
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts - Jack Jewsbury, Mikael Silvestre, Mamadou Danso (Andrew Jean-Baptiste 71), Michael Harrington - Diego Chara, Will Johnson - Diego Valeri (Frederic Piquionne 78) - Darlington Nagbe, Ryan Johnson (Ben Zemanski 72), Rodney Wallace

WATCH: Timbers top SKC on the road

  • The Timbers extended their undefeated streak to six games, a club record in MLS, with the win at Sporting Kansas City. The undefeated streak is the second-longest in MLS this season, behind FC Dallas' seven-game run.
     
  • "We didn't steal the result -- we matched them toe-to-toe tonight for 90 minutes. I thought we gave them a lot of problems and they had their moments, their chances as well," said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. "We knew it was going to be that way we knew it would be a game where they had some chances but we had quite a bit as well. In terms of the flow, possession and our ability to press them I thought we really executed the plan we put in place."
     
  • The three goals were the most the club has ever scored in an MLS away match, it marked the first time theyíd come from behind to win on the road, and at 1-0-3, they are the only team still undefeated away from home.
     
  • "I think it tells us that we can go into any game against any team, home or away and play our identity and not hope to win but expect to win," said Porter. "It doesn't mean we will win every game. Soccer is a funny sport. If we perform like we did tonight we're going to be a tough team to beat."
     
  • The opening goal, coming after just 44 seconds officially, was the second-earliest goal ever conceded by the Timbers in MLS. The Timbers have taken six points from five matches when they've conceded the opening goal (1-1-3), the best mark in MLS.
     
  • "The nice thing when we go down a goal we donít change. We keep going, we keep pushing, we keep attacking, we keep pressing, we keep possession. It makes it tough for teams to play against us because they need a two- or three-goal cushion, otherwise we are going to keep coming at you," said Porter.
     
  • Ryan Johnson scored his third goal to take over sole possession of the Timbers team lead in goals scored. He scored a goal and added an assist in the same game for the third time in his MLS career.
     
  • "We haven't crumbled all season. We've been in this situation in many games so all of those (events) helped mold us into a team that could handle this situation," said Ryan Johnson. "We were fine and we knew that we were going to get back and we did."
     
  • Diego Valeri recorded his first two assists in MLS, setting up the first two Portland goals. He had two goals in six appearances coming into the SKC match.
     
  • "We had a lot of possession of the ball and at times we dictated the game. We felt that we did a good job of managing their pressure, their possession and we pressed very well," said Ryan Johnson. "At halftime the coach was very happy with our performance and he just wanted to keep us going."

NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION
The New England Revolution put an end to their winless run after five games, defeating Philadelphia Union 2-0 on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 8 points from 7 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Revolution opened the scoring in the 61st minute. Lee Nguyen slipped Kelyn Rowe through on the right side of the penalty area, and he picked out Diego Fagundez's run near the penalty spot. Fagundez swept home with his first touch.
     
  • Nguyen then started and finished the buildup to the vital second 11 minutes later. He embarked upon an incisive run through midfield and played second-half substitute Saer Sene through on the left side of the penalty area. MacMath saved the initial attempt, but the rebound fell kindly for Nguyen and he gleefully thumped home into the empty net.
     
  • Revolution head coach Jay Heaps made two changes to the team that lost 4-1 to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Stephen McCarthy came into central defense in place of A.J. Soares, and Ryan Guy started in midfield in favor of Andy Dorman.
     
  • NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION (4-1-4-1): Bobby Shuttleworth - Andrew Farrell, Stephen McCarthy, Jose Goncalves, Chris Tierney - Kalifa Cisse - Diego Fagundez, Kelyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen (Scott Caldwell 89), Ryan Guy (Saer Sene 61) - Jerry Bengtson (Dimitry Imbongo 74).

WATCH: Revs knock off Union

TEAM NEWS

  • The victory vs. Philadelphia ended a five-game winless streak, the Revolution having gone 0-3-2 since a season-opening 1-0 win against Chicago.
     
  • The Revolution got a goal from their own player for the first time since the March 2 season opener, Diego Fagundez and Lee Nguyen scoring in the victory.
     
  • "Those types of goals are what we strive for and work for. We had opportunities in the first half and you could see it just felt that it was going to come. We were about to sacrifice a live chicken pretty soon if one of those go in, in the second half," Heaps said.
     
  • Heaps changed his tactical scheme for the match, having Ryan Guy and Diego Fagundez operating as natural wingers and Kalifa Cisse sweeping up in a deep-lying midfield spot behind Lee Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe in central playmaking roles.
     
  • "I thought tonight we put a lot of confidence in Kelyn (Rowe) and Lee (Nguyen) to step up there and be two kinds of playmakers, with Kelyn trying to penetrate, pick up loose balls and Lee to be more of the playmaker in the terms of with the ball at his feet," said Heaps. "The two of them have a nice style. I think they did a nice one-two tonight. I think Lee has a nice way of playing balls and Kelyn reads it pretty well."
     
  • Said Rowe: "I was very comfortable in there and you could see Lee was comfortable in there as well. I thought we combined very well with Ryan and Diego out wide and Jerry holding the ball for us. I think it's something for the future. You'll see that we both like it."
     
  • There was also a change in the back four, with Stephen McCarthy making his first start in a central defense role alongside Jose Goncalves.
     
  • "It was a night where we had to draw a line in the sand. Tonight has got to be the time when we get forward and attack, but also defend tough. You saw (Stephen McCarthy) and Jose (Goncalves) the way they battled today. They were really thorough all the way around," Heaps said. "(Chris) Tierney would get forward, but also he had to defend. (Andrew) Farrell was forward a little bit, but for me he did a nice job defensively. Across the line I think that everyone had to dig in deep."
     
  • Lee Nguyen scored a goal and added an assist in the same game for the second time in his MLS career, after scoring twice and assisting on a third on May 12, 2012 vs. Vancouver.
     
  • "You can see Lee and Kelyn making plays and attacking with Jerry (Bengtson) and then me and Ryan (Guy), all five attack at once, it kind of helps Jerry and I to go forward and try and score," said Fagundez.
     
  • There is an injury concern for the Revs after right back Farrell had to leave the Philadelphia game late with a knee injury. "Right now, we're day-to-day with Farrell," Heaps said. "He's getting his treatment. We don't want to rule him out too early, but we want to make sure that we're cautious with a young player."

REFEREE: Jair Marrufo. AR1 (bench): Adam Garner; AR2 (opposite): Jeremy Hanson; 4th: Daniel Radford
MLS Career: 148 games; FC/gm: 24.2; Y/gm: 3.1; R: 32; pens: 44

DISABLED LIST: NE: Kevin Alston
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (3 meetings): Timbers 1 win, 4 goals | Revolution 1 win, 2 goals | Ties 1
AT PORTLAND (3 meetings): Timbers 1 win, 3 goals | Revolution 0 wins, 1 goal | Ties 0

LAST YEAR (MLS)
3/24: NE 1, POR 0 (Sene 1)

  • This is the only league meeting of the season between the two clubs.
  • The teams have evenly split their three meetings all-time, each winning once with one draw. The Timbers won the only matchup at Jeld-Wen Field, a 3-0 victory on Sept. 16, 2011.
  • Coaches record: Jay Heaps vs. POR: P1 W1 L0 D0 | Caleb Porter vs. NE: first game