Quick Strikes: Five numbers to know for New England Revolution vs. Portland Timbers | Aug. 16, 2014
The Portland Timbers put in a dominating performance Saturday against Chivas USA, beating the Goats 2-0 in a crucial victory. The Portland defense was solid throughout in helping goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts pick up the shutout with new addition Liam Ridgewell helping marshal the backline. With a busy stretch of three games in nine days, the Timbers head east to take on the New England Revolution on Saturday night (4:30pm PT, KPTV). Here's five numbers to keep in mind for Saturday night's clash.
17 What else is there to say about Diego Valeri? The Timbers' leading assist man (8) is now also just one goal behind team leading goalscorer Maximilano Urruti on the season. With a curling, impossible strike against Chivas USA last week, Valeri made Timbers history as he tied forward Darlington Nagbe at 17 for most goals scored during the Timbers MLS era.
Seven New England is out of the playoff cut at the moment in the Eastern Conference, but are one of the top teams in MLS in home goal defecit at plus seven. The Revolution have been able to find ways to score at Gillette Stadium behind the foot of midfielder Lee Nguyen (8) as well as forward Diego Fagundez and Patrick Mullin with four apiece.
2.25Over the course of the last four regular season matches, Portland has been averaging 2.25 points per game. Going 3-1-0 over the stretch, the point increase has kept them in the race for one of the final playoff positions as they sit just two points behind fifth place Vancouver.
2069Team captain Will Johnson has been a mainstay for coach Caleb Porter in 2014, becoming the first Timbers player to cross the 2000 minute mark on the season. He has also started every one of the team's 23 MLS games contributing six goals and two assists along the way.
1-9-0 New England, despite a relatively strong start to the season, has been on an difficult slide since late May. The Revolution dropped eight straight games beginining on May 31, saving themselves with a 3-0 victory against Colorado on July 30. With an Aug. 2 loss to New York Red Bulls, New England have gone 1-9-0 over their last 10 matches and yet still sit only one point below the playoff red line in the Eastern Conference.