Date: Aug. 29, 2020
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Forecast: Clear, 67 degrees
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Jeffrey Greeson, Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Michael Radchuk
VAR: Daniel Radford
Local TV: FOX 12 PLUS
Talent: Jake Zivin (play-by-play), Ross Smith (analyst), Nat Borchers (analyst)
English Radio: 1029 and 750 the Game
Talent: Keith Bleyer (play-by-play), Joe Sleven (analyst), Fletcher Johnson (host)
Spanish Radio: La GranD (KGGD 93.5 FM, 1150 AM)
SCOUTING REAL SALT LAKE
Entering Saturday’s regular-season match against the Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake (2-1-3, 9pts) is coming off a 4-1 road victory over the Colorado Rapids on Aug. 22. In six regular-season matches during the 2020 campaign, midfielder Damir Kreilach leads the team while Maikel Chang and Corey Baird are tied for the team lead in assists (2). Goalkeeper Zac MacMath has tallied three shutouts and 12 saves in five regular-season appearances in 2020.
ALL-TIME SERIES NOTES
Saturday’s contest marks the 24th MLS regular-season meeting between Portland and Real Salt Lake dating back to April 30, 2011, with the Timbers leading the series against RSL 9-7-7. Notably, Portland has defeated Real Salt Lake in four consecutive league matches dating back to Oct. 6, 2018, outscoring the opposition 10-2 in those matches. In six regular-season appearances against Real Salt Lake, Sebastián Blanco has tallied four goals and two assists. Jeremy Ebobisse has tallied one goal and two assists in six regular-season appearances (4 starts) against RSL. In 17 career starts against Real Salt Lake, Diego Valeri has tallied four goals and five assists. Notably, Diego Chara’s 19 league appearances against RSL is the most by a Timbers player in club history.
VALERI CLOSING IN ON 80 GOALS / 80 ASSISTS CLUB
With his game-winning goal against the Houston Dynamo on July 18, Diego Valeri now sits at 79 goals and 82 assists in 217 appearances (207 starts) in league play since joining the Timbers in 2013. Valeri needs one more goal to reach 80-plus goals and 80-plus assists for his career in regular-season play. Landon Donovan (145 goals, 136 assists) and Jaime Moreno (133 goals, 102 assists) are the only players in MLS history to reach 80-plus goals and 80-plus assists in their career during the regular season. Since making his debut for Portland in 2013, Valeri leads all MLS players in assists (82) and chances created from open play (363), ranks fifth in goals scored (79) and tied for seventh in games played (217) during regular-season play. Notably, in 17 career starts against Real Salt Lake, Diego Valeri has tallied four goals and five assists.
UNITED NATIONS OF THE PORTLAND TIMBERS
The Portland Timbers have one of the most diverse rosters in Major League Soccer, having 14 different countries represented. Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Slovenia, United States and Venezuela. Notably, 15 different players on the Timbers’ roster have made appearances for their respective national team.
MLS IS BACK TOURNAMENT RECAP
By winning the MLS is Back Tournament, the Timbers claimed their second major championship (MLS Cup - 2015) in the last six seasons. After the win, Major League Soccer announced that Sebastián Blanco, Diego Chara, Jeremy Ebobisse and Larrys Mabiala were named to the MLS is Back Tournament Best XI, with the tournament champions having the most players of any club represented in the Best XI. Blanco was named the MLS is Back Player of the Tournament after tallying three goals and five assists in seven appearances in the competition. Additionally, Andy Polo won the MLS is Back Goal of the Tournament, while Steve Clark won the MLS is Back Save of the Tournament based off fan voting. Notably, the Timbers finished the tournament with an undefeated record (5-0-2).