KeyBank Scouting Report Matchday Preview | Chicago Fire vs. Portland Timbers | Aug. 7, 2015

MATCH INFORMATION

Date: Friday, Aug. 7, 2015
Kickoff: 8 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Forecast: Clear, 85 degrees
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Hanson, Paul Scott Fourth Official: Alex Chilowicz
National TV/Local TV: KPDX Channel 49 - Read on for more information
Spanish Talent: Jorge Perez Navarro (play-by-play), Marcelo Balboa (analyst), Ivan Kasanzew (reporter)
English Radio: 750 The Game (KXTG 750AM, 102.9FM)
Talent: Keith Bleyer (play-by-play), Ross Smith (analyst)
Spanish Radio: La GranD (KGGD 93.5FM, 1150 AM)
Talent: Josue del Castillo (play-by-play), Ozkar Ramos (analyst)

MATCH PREVIEW

Portland enters Friday’s match unbeaten in its last seven games at Providence Park (5-0-2), dating back to a scoreless draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 2. The Timbers are 6-1-4 overall at home during the 2015 season and have lost just one home game (8-1-6) in their last 15 games in the Rose City dating back to the 2014 season. In addition, Portland has registered six of its nine clean sheets at home, including shutouts in five of the last seven matches at Providence Park. Portland’s nine clean sheets are tied for the most in MLS in 2015. Chicago visits Portland coming off a 2-0 win against FC Dallas at Toyota Park on Aug. 2. The Fire are winless on the road in 2015 (0-6-3), but enter the match having won two of their last three matches.

LAST MATCH RECAP

Making their first-ever trip to Avaya Stadium, the Timbers recorded their ninth shutout of the season – tied for the most in MLS – to claim a point on the road in a scoreless draw against the San Jose Earthquakes on Aug. 2 in front of 18,000 fans in San Jose, Calif. The Timbers held a 10-5 edge in shots in the second half as forward Fanendo Adi unleashed a powerful shot from close range less than two minutes into the half that rattled the inside of the left post after receiving a pass from midfielder Diego Valeri. Later in the second half, Valeri saw a penalty kick ricochet off the crossbar.

LAST TIME VS. CHICAGO

Forward Gastón Fernández scored his second goal in as many games and the Portland Timbers used a commanding second-half performance to earn a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire in front of a sellout crowd of 20,814 at Providence Park on March 16, 2014.

ALL-TIME SERIES NOTES

Friday’s match marks the sixth meeting all-time between Portland and Chicago since 2011. The Timbers are unbeaten (3-0-2) in five previous matches against the Fire, posting a record of 2-0-1 at Providence Park against the Eastern Conference club.

Playing in the team’s fourth-ever MLS match, Portland earned a 4-2 victory in the first meeting between the two clubs on April 14, 2011. Last season, the Timbers rallied from an early deficit and scored the game-tying goal in the 79th minute in a 1-1 draw against Chicago on March 16, 2014, marking the second consecutive draw between the two teams.

Games between the two clubs have generally provided goals, as there has never been a scoreless draw in five previous matches and just one shutout (July 16, 2011 - a 1-0 win on the road for Portland, which marked the team’s first MLS road win).

SCOUTING THE FIRE

Chicago visits Portland coming off a 2-0 win against FC Dallas at Toyota Park on Aug. 2. David Accam opened the scoring early for the Fire, while Shaun Maloney tallied a penalty kick late to secure the win and snap FC Dallas’ five-game winning streak. Accam leads the way for head coach Frank Yallop’s side with a team-leading six goals, while captain Jeff Larentowicz has produced four goals for Chicago. The Fire are winless on the road in 2015 (0-6-3), but enter the match having won two of their last three matches. Chicago recently added forward Gilberto as a Designated Player on July 27. The Brazilian forward tallied seven goals in 28 games (21 starts) for Toronto FC in 2014 and was on loan to Brazilian side Vasco da Gama before joining Chicago.

KEEPING CLEAN SHEETS

Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey ranks first in MLS with nine clean sheets in 22 appearances this season. Kwarasey, who is in his first season with the Timbers, ranks tied for second in wins (9) and third in the league in minutes played (1,980).

IRONMEN

So far this season, the Timbers have had four players (Adam Kwarasey, Liam Ridgewell and Jorge Villafana) play 1,960 minutes or more. Each one of the trio ranks in the top 15 for most minutes played. While Portland is the only team in MLS with more than two players with 1,960 minutes or more.

ACTIVE DEFENDING

Defender Alvas Powell, who turned 21 years old on July 18, is the only MLS player with 90 or more clearances (97), tackles (99) and recoveries (158) during the 2015 season so far. In addition, the Jamaican defender has won more duels (207) than any other MLS player this season.

CREATING CHANCES

The Timbers rank second overall in MLS with 246 chances created (including assists). Portland trails only Columbus Crew SC (255). Midfielder Darlington Nagbe ranks first in the league with 48 chances created from open play.

WINNING AT HOME

The Timbers rank among league leaders with a 6-1-4 overall record at Providence Park during the 2015 season, including a Timbers MLS-club record tying streak of five straight wins from May 27-July 5. Portland is unbeaten in its last seven regular-season home games since May 2. Portland has compiled one of the league’s best home records with an overall mark of 22-5-18 (.689) over the last two-plus seasons since 2013. The Timbers have lost just one home game (8-1-6) in their last 15 at Providence Park dating back to the 2014 season.

PASSING ACCURACY

This season, Portland has been one of the most accurate passing teams in MLS. Leading the way for the Timbers in passing accuracy are Will Johnson (89.07 percent), Jack Jewsbury (88.72 percent), and Nagbe (88.8 percent). Each member of that trio is in the top seven for passing accuracy among MLS players with at least 300 attempted passes. Midfielder Diego Chara ranks first overall on the Timbers with 1,002 pass attempts (87.13 percent accuracy).

UPCOMING MILESTONES

With his next assist, midfielder Jack Jewsbury will move into a tie for 10th place overall on the Timbers all-time career assists chart with Timbers Ring of Honor member Jimmy Conway (1978-80). Jewsbury currently sits in 11th place with 15 assists for Portland since 2011.

Defender Nat Borchers’ next goal will be his 15th career MLS goal. Entering the week, Borchers has netted 14 career goals since 2003, including two with the Timbers. His next goal will also tie a single-season MLS career high (3) set in 2011 with Real Salt Lake.

Midfielder Diego Valeri has compiled 76 career points (23g, 30a) during his Timbers MLS career and is just three points shy of tying NASL Timbers great Willie Anderson (79pts) for fifth place all-time on the Timbers leaderboard across all eras in career points.

With his next match, midfielder Darlington Nagbe will reach the 150 MLS matches played milestone. Only three MLS players (Juninho, Bobby Boswell and Dominic Oduro) have played more MLS games than Nagbe since 2011, who has played the third-most league matches across all eras in Timbers history.

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