Timbers vs. Whitecaps, Matchday Preview, 10.6.13

BC PLACE, Vancouver, B.C.
Oct. 6, 2013 (WEEK 32, MLS Game #297)
5:00 p.m. PT (ROOT SPORTS, 750 The Game / La Pantera 940)

The Cascadia Cup rematch between Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Portland Timbers takes on added importance as the two clubs chase MLS Cup Playoffs spots when the teams meet Sunday afternoon at BC Place. Whitecaps FC are looking to put a stop to a three-game winless skid, after the 1-0 home loss to Real Salt Lake that left them four points out of a playoff position. The Timbers have used back-to-back wins – last a 1-0 home win vs. the LA Galaxy – to move into third place in the Western Conference and four points clear of the playoff line. 
The Portland Timbers won their second consecutive game and extended their undefeated streak, defeating the LA Galaxy 1-0 on Sunday afternoon at JELD-WEN Field. The Timbers are in third place in the Western Conference with 49 points from 30 matches. 



  • The Timbers made two wins in a row – both by 1-0 scorelines – and four matches without a loss. They’ve scored three goals in their last three games, yet come away with seven of a possible nine points.  
  • “It’s a big, big step,” Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said. “Obviously each step is important, but this was a big one. Our goal is to not just limp into the playoffs, but get in in a good position, hopefully in the top three and avoid the play-in game. From that standpoint it was a big step, but it was also a big step for this club moving forward, to continue to prove that we can beat anybody.” 
  • Added forward Darlington Nagbe: “I agree something changed … We saw that we let three points slip away [against Chivas USA] and we thought we should have gotten three points. So we just wanted to come home and make sure we got three points out of the two games following that.” 
  • The Timbers have also now kept a clean sheet in three of their last four matches. Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is tied for the league lead with 11 shutouts, with Philadelphia’s Zac MacMath. In their back-to-back shutouts, they have allowed a total of three shots on target. 
  • “There’s a lot of experience in that back line. We know we’ll find a goal somewhere, maybe we’ll find one but hopefully it’s more than that, but in the end if we don’t give up goals, we’re going to be a tough team to beat,” Porter said. 
  • Maximiliano Urruti made his second consecutive start and his third appearance since his arrival from Toronto FC, and scored his first MLS goal. 
  • “He’s a finisher,” Porter said. “It’s not just the goal, but the amount of ground he covers in pressing their central defenders. He worked tirelessly the entire night to be a nuisance on their central defenders. That’s huge in this system, when you play a 4-3-3. If you’re going to be a pressing team, you need your No. 9 to put the work in and make it predictable and chop the field, and he did that.” 
  • Said Urruti: “That’s what they basically wanted me for, and that’s what I adapted to and that’s how I play. So coming here, there’s not much of a difference from that. It’s just very important and vital for a striker to cover a lot of ground on defense and that’s what I try to do.” 
  • Will Johnson collected his fourth assist of the season, his first since June 23, when he had a goal and an assist vs. Colorado. He has one goal and one assist in seven appearances since that match. 
  • “Mostly we were just very organized defensively,” Porter said. “I thought we pressed enough in the front part of our shape that we didn’t’ allow them to really get a ton of the ball in terms of quality actions. But also the back part of our team didn’t open up a lot of space.” 

Vancouver Whitecaps FC had their home winless streak extended to three matches, falling 1-0 to Real Salt Lake on Saturday afternoon at BC Place. Whitecaps FC are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 41 points from 30 matches. 


  • It was a fourth loss in seven matches down the stretch for Whitecaps FC, two of those at BC Place. Vancouver has been shut out at the attacking end in four of those games as well. 
  • “For the third game in a row, we started the game badly, which is really frustrating, and it’s something we’ve worked on. We made sure we were focused and ready to go. We put ourselves in a bad spot to start with, and I just thought our quality was really poor,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. “It was a disappointing performance, especially given how well we’ve played in our last two games.” 
  • With Kenny Miller injured and unavailable, Russell Teibert came into the starting team for the first time since Sept. 1. 
  • Camilo Sanvezzo also returned to the team after coming off the substitutes’ bench the week before – and scoring two goals. 
  • “I can certainly say today, the quality in the final third wasn’t good. There was no good movement, there wasn’t good connection of passes, there wasn’t any good balls coming into the box, there wasn’t sustained pressure, there wasn’t winning second balls when we did put balls in the box. I can definitely pinpoint those things,” said Rennie. 
  • Tommy Heinemann was given a second consecutive start – his third MLS start this season – but was taken off before the hour in favor of Darren Mattocks. 
  • “To try and change the game, we weren’t creating any chances so we wanted to put on a couple of forwards and try to make it more dangerous,” said Rennie. “Darren had half a chance in the box and that lifted us for a little bit, we started to go forward and create some more opportunities, but in the end it wasn’t enough.” 
  • David Ousted allowed his first goal in 189 minutes with the lone marker of the match, following back-to-back shutouts. 
  • “He made a number of big saves today, and probably was our only player that we could say did well. I don’t think anyone played well today apart from David Ousted,” said Rennie. “I think it was a terrible performance from everybody. That means it’s a terrible performance from the coach as well. It was a real let-down and way below our standard.” 
  • Following the visit by one Cascadia Cup foe in Portland, Whitecaps FC face another test in a trip to the other Cascadia rival in Seattle, starting back-to-back road games. 
  • “We’ve all got to look at it and see how we can do better. We’ve now put ourselves in a difficult spot as we go forward. But we’ve still got plenty of time to get the wins that we need. We need to turn it around starting next week against Portland,” said Rennie. 
  • Added Jay DeMerit: “We know how important this game is to us, we don’t need to put extra onus on our rivalry. Whether it’s Portland or someone else, even in the Eastern division, these games are all must wins, and we’ve got to make sure that we reflect that in our performance. We just didn’t do that.” 

: Silviu Petrescu. AR1 (bench): Joe Fletcher; AR2 (opposite): Baboucarr Jallow; 4th: Younes Marrakchi 
MLS Career
: 73 games; FC/gm: 27.7; Y/gm: 3.6; R: 10; pens: 10 
: POR:
Mikael Silvestre
(season-ending injury);
Ryan Miller
(season-ending injury);
Brent Richards
(season-ending injury) 
: none 

: VAN: Jordan Harvey … POR:
Andrew Jean-Baptiste
Ben Zemanski
: VAN: Gershon Koffie, Russell Teibert, Lee Young-Pyo, Camilo 
Sanvezzo, Nigel Reo-Coker … POR: Diego Chara, Will Johnson, Rodney Wallace, Pa Modou Kah 
: none 
(7 meetings): Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 6 goals … Timbers 4 wins, 10 goals … Ties 3 
(3 meetings): Whitecaps FC 0 wins, 2 goals … Timbers 2 wins, 4 goals … Ties 1 
2013 (MLS): 
5/18: VAN 2, POR 2 (Sanvezzo 24; Koffie 54 – W. Johnson 52; Valencia 84) 
8/3: POR 1, VAN 1 (W. Johnson 49 – Harvey 69) 

  • The teams are meeting for the third time this season. Portland’s Jose Adolfo Valencia scored the equalizer with eight minutes to go to leave the teams in a 2-2 draw May 18 at BC Place; the Timbers’ Ryan Johnson and Vancouver’s Jordan Harvey each netted in the 1-1 draw Aug. 3 at JELD-WEN Field. 
  • The Timbers have never lost to Whitecaps FC since the two teams have played in MLS competition. The Timbers have won four of the seven meetings all-time, including two of the three contests at BC Place. 
  • Coaches record: Martin Rennie vs. POR: P4 W0 L2 D3 … Caleb Porter vs. VAN: P2 W0 L0 D2 


  • Both goals came after the halftime break. Portland broke the stalemate in the 49th minute when Will Johnson converted a perfectly placed Diego Valeri cross with a clinical header to the top corner, beating Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted. 
  • Vancouver found an equalizer in the 69th minute on a Camilo Sanvezzo corner that Jordan Harvey flicked home with a header at the near post, as goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was not able to get enough purchase on the ball to deflect it away. 
  • PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-2-1-3): Donovan Ricketts - Alvas Powell (Ryan Miller 63), Pa Modou Kah, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Michael Harrington - Jack Jewsbury (Jose Adolfo Valencia 84), Will Johnson - Diego Valeri - Darlington Nagbe, Frederic Piquionne (Ryan Johnson 40), Rodney Wallace. 
  • VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-2-1-3): David Ousted - Lee Young-Pyo, Johnny Leveron, Carlyle Mitchell, Jordan Harvey - Nigel Reo-Coker, Brad Rusin (Matt Watson 17) - Daigo Kobayashi - Russell Teibert, Camilo Sanvezzo, Kekuta Manneh (Erik Hurtado 65).