Matchday Preview: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers at Buck Shaw Stadium - July 27, 2013

Timbers face Earthquakes for final time in regular season


SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs PORTLAND TIMBERS
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.
July 27, 2013 (WEEK 22, MLS Game #202)
7:30 p.m. PT (ROOT SPORTS, 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940 AM)

 

The San Jose Earthquakes return to league play with a key match ahead as they entertain the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes stopped a two-game losing skid two weeks ago with a 1-0 home win against Seattle, but are still currently eight points out of the playoff positions. The Timbers continue their road swing after a scoreless at Philadelphia last weekend that kept them in second place in the division.

PORTLAND TIMBERS
The Portland Timbers headed east and again came away with a road point, playing to a scoreless draw with Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening at PPL Park. The Timbers are in second place in the Western Conference with 34 points from 20 matches.

LAST MATCH

TEAM NEWS

  • The Timbers recorded their ninth shutout of the season, second behind New England (11) for the most in MLS. Donovan Ricketts is tied with New England's Bobby Shuttleworth for the league lead with nine.
     
  • "We're proven to be a stingy team defensively," Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said. "That makes me happy because there are going to be games where you just can't find the goal, but at the very least you shouldn't lose. And if you get a clean sheet, you're not losing. At least you get a point, and on the road, it's not all bad to get a point."
     
  • "The save he made on Conor [Casey] is world class," Union assistant coach Rob Vartughian said of Ricketts. "We felt, to get to that point in the game, when we were on their end and we were pressing, it was a disappointment to not find a way to get a goal. You have to tip your hat to the guy, he makes an unbelievable save."
     
  • The Timbers also recorded an eighth draw in 11 away matches. It was their third scoreless draw on the road this season, their second in the last three road matches.
     
  • "Even at the end when a lot of teams would crumble our guys were up for the challenge and in the end it's a point on the road," said Porter. "Nothing negative about it. We didn't come here for one point we came for three but we came for a battle and we got one. In the end the result seems fair."
     
  • Pa Modou Kah was reinserted into the lineup in central defense after missing out on the Galaxy match through suspension after his 11th-minute sending off in Columbus.
     
  • Said Ricketts: "We responded well. It was a bad game against Columbus on our part. We went home and we set things right against LA. Now we are on the road and got a point so it's always good to keep your scoreboard ticking."
     
  • After missing two matches while on CONCACAF Gold Cup duty with Canada, Will Johnson returned to the Timbers lineup.
     
  • "It's still early in the process of putting the team together, but we could be a lot better," Johnson said. "Being hard to beat and not being outworked, those are two very good blocks to build the team on, so I'm proud that we've got those things down. We just need to work on the attacking phase and quality of the attacking third."
     
  • On Wednesday, the Timbers defeated Norwich City FC 1-0 in a friendly at JELD-WEN Field. The game's lone goal came from Jose Adolfo Valencia on 52 minutes.
     
  • Here's the Timbers team: Milos Kocic (Jake Gleeson, 46), Alvas Powell, Rauwshan McKenzie, Futty Danso (Andrew Jean-Baptiste, 75), Ryan Miller, Ben Zemanski, (Jack Jewsbury, 63) Kalif Alhassan, Will Johnson (Steven Evans, 46), Jose Valencia (Michael Harrington, 71), Ryan Johnson (Sal Zizzo, 46), Rodney Wallace (Sebastian Rincon, 46)

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes put a stop to their losing skid at two games, getting the game's only goal for a victory against Seattle Sounders FC in their last match, July 13 at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes sit in eighth place in the Western Conference with 24 points from 21 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came in the 48th minute. Walter Martinez collected a ball from Steven Lenhart in the left side of the box, cut inside Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin and fired high to the back post, beating substitute Andrew Weber.
     
  • Weber and starting Sounders FC goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, who suffered an injury and came off at halftime, each recorded two saves. Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch was called upon to make just one save.
     
  • Quakes interim head coach Mark Watson made three changes to the team that fell 2-0 to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Victor Bernardez and Justin Morrow came into the back four for Brad Ring and Dan Gargan, and Steven Lenhart started up top in place of Adam Jahn.
     
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez (Dan Gargan 46), Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow - Shea Salinas, Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Walter Martinez - Steven Lenhart, Alan Gordon.

TEAM NEWS

  • The win put an end to a two-game losing slide, from their two-game eastern trip to Chicago and New England, and evened Mark Watson's record at 3-3 since taking over as interim head coach.
     
  • "This win was huge for us. Just looking at the standings and where we are, the three points are huge," said Watson. "Seattle was a team just above us in the standings and to close that gap a little bit does a lot for the confidence. We've had a tough go this year. We just finished playing seven of nine games on the road and everyone felt good coming home. We played with a lot of energy and I think it will give us a good boost moving forward."
     
  • Walter Martinez scored his first MLS goal, his third consecutive start after two matches out of the first team.
     
  • "It was great to get the first [MLS] goal," Martinez said through a team translator. "But the important thing was to get the win tonight. - No player ever thinks, 'I'm waiting for a goal,' or 'I'm hoping for a goal.' It comes in the moment that it comes, and you have to take advantage of the opportunity."
     
  • Said Watson: "He's primarily a right-sided player playing on the left, so that's what he naturally does. He wants to get the ball and cut inside. He works on it a lot, on that almost exact play, a little touch inside and then finishes to the far post. So it was great to see it hit the back of the net."
     
  • Steven Lenhart made his first start since June 29, when he was forced off after 64 minutes with a bloody head in the win against the LA Galaxy.
     
  • "I thought Lenny was great," Watson said. "He's a physical player. He plays 100 percent. He challenges for every ball. There's a lot of contact, and when he's on his game and when he's healthy, he's very effective, and I thought he was [Saturday]."
     
  • The Earthquakes recorded their first league shutout since March 23 and just their second of the season. The first also came in a 1-0 home win vs. Seattle.
     
  • "We looked good as a unit, and it feels great to get a clean sheet. We were shorthanded again tonight, but our depth was on display," said defender Justin Morrow. "To answer back and get a win against Sounders FC after they beat us in Seattle is definitely a building block we can use to make a playoff push."
     
  • Said goalkeeper Jon Busch: "We've worked on that with coach Watson on creating pressure from up top, all the way to the back. Tonight we did not allow them options or time on the ball. I didn't have too much to do this match, which is a credit to the back line."
     
  • On their weekend away from league competition, the Quakes played host to English Premier League side Norwich City FC, winning their friendly 1-0 on July 20 at Buck Shaw Stadium. The game's lone goal came from Cordell Cato after just seven minutes.
     
  • Here's the Earthquakes team: David Bingham, Steven Beitashour (Victor Bernardez 62), Brad Ring, Dan Gargan, Jordan Stewart (Justin Morrow 62), Cordell Cato, Mehdi Ballouchy, Ramiro Corrales, Sam Garza, Walter Martinez (Shea Salinas 52), Marcus Tracy (Adam Jahn 71).
     
  • The Quakes also made a international signing, picking El Salvador international midfielder Jaime Alas. "I think he's wanted to be here for a while," Watson said of Alas. "It's been a two-plus-year process and for whatever reason, it hasn't worked out. So I think he's really excited. I think playing here would probably suit his style a little bit better."

LAST MEETING (MLS):

  • The Timbers took the lead in the 58th minute when Diego Valeri pounced on a deflected shot by teammate Ryan Johnson and pounded home a bouncing ball from 12 yards out.
     
  • But the Earthquakes once again showed their remarkable late magic. A long restart from goalkeeper Jon Busch was flicked on and bounded around the box before Chris Wondolowski gave a subtle touch to tee things up for rookie Adam Jahn, who went to his left to beat goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts cleanly.
     
  • SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Nana Attakora, Justin Morrow - Shea Salinas (Marvin Chavez 60), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca (Adam Jahn 84), Ramiro Corrales (Sam Garza 69) - Chris Wondolowski, Steven Lenhart.
     
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-3-1): Donovan Ricketts - Jack Jewsbury, Mikael Silvestre, Mamadou Danso, Michael Harrington - Diego Chara, Will Johnson - Darlington Nagbe (Ben Zemanski 86), Diego Valeri (Kalif Alhassan 76), Rodney Wallace - Ryan Johnson (Frederic Piquionne 78).

REFEREE: Drew Fischer. AR1 (bench): Kevin Duliba; AR2 (opposite): Marco Arruda; 4th: Daniel Radford
MLS Career: 18 games; FC/gm: 25.8; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 1; pens: 5

DISABLED LIST: SJ: Ty Harden, Peter McGlynn
SUSPENDED: SJ: Alan Gordon (caution accumulation; through July 28)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: SJ: Steven Lenhart - POR: Diego Chara, Ben Zemanski
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: SJ: Rafael Baca, Chris Wondolowski, Sam Cronin - POR: Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Will Johnson, Pa Modou Kah
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: SJ: Marvin Chavez (HON), Clarence Goodson (USA), Chris Wondolowski (USA)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (7 meetings): Earthquakes 0 wins, 7 goals -Timbers 2 wins, 9 goals - Ties 4
AT SAN JOSE (3 meetings): Earthquakes 0 wins, 4 goals - Timbers 0 wins, 4 goals - Ties 2

2013 (MLS)
4/14: POR 1, SJ 0 (W Johnson 78)
4/21: SJ 1, POR 1 (Jahn 92+ -- Valeri 58)

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. They met earlier on back-to-back weekends, a Will Johnson goal giving the Timbers a 1-0 home won on April 14, then the teams reached a 1-1 draw April 21 at Buck Shaw Stadium when San Jose's Adam Jahn scored the equalizer in stoppage time.
  • The teams are undefeated at home in the all-time league series. The Timbers have won two of four matches in Portland, with two draws, while all three encounters at Buck Shaw Stadium have ended in draws.
  • Coaches record: Mark Watson vs. POR: first game - Caleb Porter vs. SJ: P2 W1 L0 D1