KeyBank Scouting Report Matchday Preview: Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers | July 13, 2014

Timbers and Sounders write next chapter in famous Cascadia Cup rivalry match

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC vs PORTLAND TIMBERS
CENTURYLINK FIELD, Seattle, Wash.
July 13, 2014 (WEEK 18, MLS Game #167)
7 p.m. PT (ESPN2/Deportes)

Seattle Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers face off in their second Cascadia Cup match of the season Sunday evening at CenturyLink Field, just days after Sounders FC won 3-1 in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal. Earlier this season, the teams met in a wild affair, Sounders FC scoring twice late to pull the teams back into a 4-4 draw at Providence Park. Sounders FC come into the game with the best overall record in MLS, despite losing 1-0 at Vancouver last weekend, while the Timbers are coming off a 2-2 draw at LA that leaves them currently five points out of a playoff position.

PORTLAND TIMBERS

The Portland Timbers had their run stretched to six games unbeaten on the road against the LA Galaxy coming back for a 2-2 draw on July 4 at StubHub Center. The Timbers are in a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with 21 points from 18 games.

LAST MATCH

  • The Galaxy finally broke through in the 65th minute. After collecting a half-cleared cross, Landon Donovan, just above the box, played a little pass to Marcelo Sarvas, who took the ball into the area then fired past three defenders and a screened Donovan Ricketts inside the far-post netting.
     
  • But the Timbers were level just two minutes later. Jorge Villafaña sent in a cross from the left wing, but Fanendo Adi's header bounced off a defender and rolled out toward the top of the box. Diego Valeri raced in and pounded the ball home inside the far post.
     
  • Portland then went ahead in the 70th minute. Villafaña sent in a low cross which was not cleared, and Valeri again picked up the ball at the top of the box. His shot was blocked by a defender, but the ball rolled to Villafaña on the left side of the area, and he beat goalkeeper Jaime Penedo to the near post.
     
  • But the Galaxy scored the equalizer through some good fortune. Donovan chipped the ball into the box for Baggio Husidic, to the left of the net. He sent a ball into the middle toward a pair of advancing teammates, but it hit a retreating Rauwshan McKenzie and rolled into the net.
     
  • Timbers head coach Caleb Porter made two changes to the team that fell 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City at Providence Park. Rauwshan McKenzie came into central defense in place of Pa Modou Kah, and Gastón Fernández started in attack in favor of Rodney Wallace.
     
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-1-2-3): Donovan Ricketts - Michael Harrington, Danny O'Rourke, Rauwshan McKenzie, Jorge Villafaña - Will Johnson - Diego Valeri (Jack Jewsbury 90), Diego Chara - Darlington Nagbe (Kalif Alhassan 82), Fanendo Adi, Gastón Fernández (Rodney Wallace 74).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Timbers drew their ninth game of the season at the LA Galaxy. A year ago, the Timbers led MLS with 15 ties on their way to winning the Western Conference regular season title.
     
  • "If we were a little bit higher in the table it would be a result we would be happy about. So I am not going to let where we are in the table taint the fact that it's a good point against a very good team on the road with a big crowd," said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. "They gave us all they could handle and we gave them all they could handle. In the end it's probably a fair result and a good soccer game and it's great for the league."
     
  • Diego Valeri scored his third goal of the season, his first since May 11. Jorge Villafaña also netted his first goal of the season, his first with the Timbers since coming to the club from Chivas USA in the offseason.
     
  • "I thought [Villafaña] was outstanding. He defended well and had very little down his channel and going forward he was a part of both goals," said Porter. "I thought across the board I got good performances out of pretty much every guy on both sides of the ball. One of the things I told them is if we play like we played tonight over the course of the next 16 games we are going to be where we need to be there is no doubt about it."
     
  • Said Valeri: This is a little bittersweet because we could have had three points but they are a good team and the good team is we get a point ...  We are happy with the point but with the way the game played out we are a little sad because we thought we could have walked away with the three points. We did what was necessary to get them."
     
  • After not featuring in the loss to Sporting KC, Rauwshan McKenzie returned to central defense but was unfortunately involved in the equalizing own goal.
     
  • "I think we do better against superstars in this league because we are always ultra-sharp and ultra-focused. I think we have problems, we let our guard down a little bit when we play teams with players of lesser quality than Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan," said Timbers captain Will Johnson. "We know those are the two guys that are going to hurt us, and when we managed to look up and keep an eye on them at all times, we seem to get good results against this team; but it's always a good battle."

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

Seattle Sounders FC had their three-game winning streak put to an end, falling 1-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at BC Place. Sounders FC are in first place in the Western Conference and the MLS overall table with 35 points from 17 games.

LAST MATCH

TEAM NEWS

  • Sounders FC were shut out at the attacking end for just the second time this season in the loss at Vancouver, ending their undefeated streak at five games.
     
  • "I thought they played with a lot of passion because of the results that they had had and we didn't really match that completely until the second half. Then, they end up scoring a great goal, guy hits a great shot," said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. "We had some opportunities and Stefan made some saves. We were around, but we didn't put shots accurately enough on goal. This is a bump in the road. That's all it is."
     
  • Sounders FC did not include Clint Dempsey or DeAndre Yedlin in their squad, after the two returned from the U.S. national team and the FIFA World Cup. They were also without the midfield duo of Osvaldo Alonso and Gonzalo Pineda, each suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
     
  • "The guys that were missing are game-changers, that's why they're DPs and that's why they've played in World Cups and some of the biggest games," said Brad Evans. "Obviously, you're going to miss that quality, but that's no excuse not to play your game and not to play the game the way it should be played."
     
  • With Alonso and Pineda out of the team, Evans returned to a central midfield role for the first time from the start since the May 3 game vs. Philadelphia.
     
  • Micheal Azira also returned to the starting lineup for the first time since starting back-to-back games March 29-April 5. Azira had made four substitute appearances in league play in between.
     
  • "It doesn't matter who's missing – it's talking about the players who played. We had enough quality on the field to get a result and to play," said Schmid. "I thought Evans played very well and worked really, really hard. Azira took a little bit of time to get into the game, but afterwards, he was much better."
     
  • There was also an apparent injury blow out of the match, after Lamar Neagle was forced out of the game early in the second half with a shoulder injury.
     
  • Making his fifth consecutive start, Chad Barrett played the full match in attack. "Marco Pappa was very good, was very active. It's been a long time since Chad Barrett played 90 minutes and I thought he gave a good account of himself over 90 minutes," said Schmid. "There were a lot of guys that had decent performances."

REFEREE: Alan Kelly. AR1 (bench): George Gansner; AR2 (opposite): Jeff Hosking; 4th: Alejandro Mariscal
MLS Career: 7 games; FC/gm: 27.6; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 4; pens: 3

SUSPENDED: POR: Diego Chara (caution accumulation; through July 13)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: POR: Pa Modou Kah
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Norbetto Paparetto, Will Johnson
DISABLED LIST: SEA: Damion Lowe; Kevin Parsemain
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (9 meetings): Sounders FC 3 wins, 15 goals ... Timbers 2 wins, 12 goals ...  Ties 4
AT SEATTLE (4 meetings): Sounders FC 2 wins, 6 goals ...  Timbers 0 wins, 2 goals ...  Ties 2
FUTURE MATCH: 8/24: Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 2 p.m. PT

2014 (MLS)

4/5: POR 4, SEA 4 (Chara 9, 55; Valeri 14; Urruti 57 – Cooper 3; Dempsey 24, 85, 87)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Clint Dempsey scored two goals three minutes apart, in the 85th and 87th minutes, to bring Sounders FC back for a remarkable 4-4 draw on April 5 at Providence Park.
  • The long-time rivals met in a pulsating Western Conference Semifinal Series a year ago, the Timbers winning 5-3 on aggregate, including a 3-2 second-leg win in Portland.
  • Portland's first-leg win in the MLS Cup Playoffs was the club's first ever in all competitions in Seattle since coming to MLS. Sounders FC have recorded the only road win in the all-time MLS series between the clubs, a 3-2 win July 10, 2011.
  • The teams also met in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal on Tuesday evening at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash, Sounders FC winning 3-1 in extra time. It was the first Open Cup meeting between the clubs since each came into MLS.
  • 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 84 times in official competitions, Seattle winning 42 times, Portland winning 31, and 12 draws.
  • Coaches record: Caleb Porter vs. SEA: P4 W1 L1 T2 ...  Sigi Schmid vs. POR: P9 W3 L2 T4

LAST MEETING (MLS):

  • Sounders FC opened the scoring in the third minute when a corner kick was served in by Jalil Anibaba and slammed into the roof of the goal by an unmarked Kenny Cooper. But Portland answered six minutes later when Diego Chara stripped a defender, ran through the defense down the middle of the field and slotted home a shot from outside the area.
  • The Timbers took the lead in the 14th minute. Diego Valeri took a pass from Michael Harrington in the corner of the goal area with his back to the goal, spun away and chipped perfectly with his left foot off the crossbar and over the line. But the scores were level again in the 24th minute when Obafemi Martins found a streaking Clint Dempsey, who slotted past Timbers goalkeeper Andrew Weber as he charged off his line.
  • The Timbers hit for two quick goals early in the second half, the first coming when Chara found open space in midfield, hared forward and uncorked a right-footed blast from 25 yards out that sailed into the top corner. Just a minute later, Maximiliano Urruti stripped a defender on the left wing and left fly a drive that curled just inside the far post and outside the reach of a diving Stefan Frei.
  • But Sounders FC still had another answer. First, in the 86th minute, a cross from Lamar Neagle received a slight flick by Martins and Dempsey tapped in from close range. Then, substitute Ben Zemanski tripped DeAndre Yedlin in the area and was whistled for a penalty. Dempsey calmly converted the spot kick to complete the hat trick and comeback.
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-1-2-3): Andrew Weber - Alvas Powell, Norberto Paparatto, Pa Modou Kah, Michael Harrington - Diego Valeri - Diego Chara, Will Johnson (Steve Zakuani 89) - Kalif Alhassan, Maximiliano Urruti (Frederic Piquionne 84), Darlington Nagbe (Ben Zemanski 85).
  • SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (4-1-2-3): Stefan Frei - DeAndre Yedlin, Chad Marshall, Jalil Anibaba, Leo Gonzalez - Osvaldo Alonso - Michael Azira (Marco Pappa 68), Gonzalo Pineda - Kenny Cooper (Lamar Neagle 60), Obafemi Martins, Clint Dempsey.

U.S. OPEN CUP

  • On Tuesday, Sounders FC reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup with a 3-1 win against the Timbers at CenturyLink Field.
  • Osvaldo Alonso had given Sounders FC a lead midway through the second half, but Darlington Nagbe scored in stoppage time to send the game to an extra 30 minutes. Kenny Cooper and Marco Pappa then scored in extra time to send Seattle through.
  • Here's the Sounders FC team: Stefan Frei; DeAndre Yedlin (Micheal Azira 90), Chad Marshall, Zach Scott, Jalil Anibaba; Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Lamar Neagle; Chad Barrett (Marco Pappa 64), Cam Weaver (Kenny Cooper 79).
  • Here's the Timbers team: Donovan Ricketts; Michael Harrington, Rauwshan McKenzie, Danny O'Rourke, Jorge Villafana (Steve Zakuani 77); Jack Jewsbury (Will Johnson 81), Diego Chara, Diego Valeri, Rodney Wallace (Darlington Nagbe 60); Fanendo Adi, Gaston Fernandez.