USOC Matchday Preview | Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers - June 16, 2015

Liam Ridgewell, Jack Jewsbury and Jorge Villafana prep for Seattle | Timbers Training Report | June 15, 2015


Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Starfire Stadium (Tukwila, Wash.)
Forecast: 76 degrees, partly cloudy


The Timbers tallied their third straight regular-season win as forward
Fanendo Adi
netted a second-half brace with goals in the 86th and 89th minutes and the defense registered its sixth clean sheet of the season in a 2-0 win against the New England Revolution in front of a sellout crowd of 21,144 fans at Providence Park on June 6. With the win, Portland has earned three consecutive regular season victories for the first time in the team’s MLS history (since 2011) and has registered three straight shutouts at Providence Park, dating back to a scoreless draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 2. Defensively, Portland has conceded just one goal in its last three league matches. Through 15 matches, the Timbers have conceded the third-fewest goals (14) in the league.


The 102nd edition of the tournament features 91 teams, an increase from the then-record 80 that took the field last year. The expansion results in both the largest number of amateur teams (44) in the tournament proper, exceeding the previous record of 42 set last year, as well as the largest contingent of pro clubs (47, surpassing last year’s record of 38), with all Division I, II and III professional sides participating for the fourth consecutive year. The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, recognized as U.S. Soccer’s national club championship, is an annual competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament has crowned a champion for 101 consecutive years dating back to 1914. This year’s winner will earn $250,000, a spot in the 2016-17 CONCACAF Champions League tournament and have its name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, one of the oldest nationally contested trophies in American team sports. The runner-up will take home $60,000, while the team that advances the furthest from each lower division will earn a $15,000 cash prize. Seattle Sounders FC are the defending U.S. Open Cup champion, having won its fourth tournament title (following triumphs in 2009, 2010 and 2011) after a 3-1 overtime road victory over the Philadelphia Union on Sept. 16, 2014. In 1999, the competition was renamed to honor American soccer pioneer Lamar Hunt.


Seattle Sounders FC enter Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup match on short rest following a league match against FC Dallas on Saturday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Head coach Sigi Schmid’s side has been one of the better offensive sides in league play this season, ranking among league leaders in goals (20) and assists (19). Seattle are the defending U.S. Open Cup champions and have won the annual cup competition in four of the last six editions, dating back to 2009. In the 2014 tournament, Seattle played its first four matches at home before defeating the Philadelphia Union in extra time at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Sounders FC have played 11 of their last 15 U.S. Open Cup matches at home.


One of North American soccer’s longest and most heated rivalries, the Pacific Northwest derby between the Timbers and Sounders dates back to the 1975 North American Soccer League (NASL) season, Portland’s first year as a professional club. The two sides first played each other on May 2, 1975, in Portland’s first match in the NASL, with the Sounders taking a 1-0 win in front of 8,131 fans at a rain-soaked Civic Stadium (now Providence Park) in Portland. The two rivals have met five previous times in U.S. Open Cup play, first squaring off in the 2005 tournament with Portland earning a 2-0 win at home. Seattle has earned four straight results against the Timbers in Open Cup play, including wins in 2007, 2009, a penalty-kick victory in 2010 and a quarterfinal win last year. Tuesday’s match marks the 90th all-time meeting between the two clubs in all competitions since 1975.


Tuesday’s match marks Portland’s 23rd Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match since first reaching the tournament in 2004 as a second-division club. As an MLS side, the Timbers have played eight Open Cup matches, earning a 5-3 overall record. Outside of the tournament proper, the Timbers contested two Open Cup play-in games in 2011 that aren’t reflected in the total numbers. 
Tuesday’s match will be the 11th time since the beginning of the 2013 season that the Sounders and Timbers have faced each other in a competitive match and 13th time including preseason friendlies. The rivalry will be the only one in MLS that has seen multiple playoff and U.S. Open Cup matches since the start of 2013.
Last year,
Gastón Fernández
used a pair of braces to finish the U.S. Open Cup campaign with a team-high four goals. Portland is the only club to have a player with four or more goals in both the 2014 and 2013 U.S. Open Cups (Frederic Piquionne scored five goals, including four in one match, in the 2013 tournament).
Darlington Nagbe
has scored at least one goal in each of the last two editions of the U.S. Open Cup tournament - netting a goal in the quarterfinals against FC Dallas in 2013 and a goal against Seattle Sounders FC in the quarterfinals in 2014.


Since 2009, the Timbers have compiled a 5-2 overall road record in U.S. Open Cup competition, including road wins against fellow MLS clubs Sporting Kansas City (2014) and FC Dallas (2013).


The last two U.S. Open Cup matches between Portland and Seattle Sounders FC have gone the distance and more. Last year, Timbers forward Darlington Nagbe netted the equalizer in the third minute of second-half stoppage time to send the quarterfinal match into extra time. After the Timbers were reduced to 10 men in the first half of extra time, Sounders FC scored twice in the second half for the 3-1 win on July 9, 2014. Prior to that, the second-division Timbers played host to Sounders FC on June 30, 2010, in the third round of the competition. With the score knotted at 1-1 after regulation and extra time, Seattle emerged the 4-3 winner in penalty kicks.


Portland ranks first overall in the league in dribbles completed (131). The stat tracks moments when an individual player successfully dribbles around an opponent while retaining possession. Portland’s mark is 17 more than the next-best team. Midfielder Darlington Nagbe (42) and defender
Alvas Powell
(33) rank second and fourth, respectively, in the league. Highlighting the stat is the fact that the Timbers are the most fouled team in MLS (223), while Nagbe is the most-fouled player in MLS (44).


The Timbers enter Tuesday’s match on a three-game winning streak in MLS regular-season play. The three-game streak is currently tied with Toronto FC for the longest active winning streak in MLS. Portland has won four of its last six league matches heading into its first U.S. Open Cup match of 2015.


Portland has utilized the same back line combination of Alvas Powell,
Nat Borchers
Liam Ridgewell
Jorge Villafaña
along with goalkeeper
Adam Kwarasey
in 14 of the team’s 15 regular-season matches this season. The only game with a different starting back line was May 27 against D.C. United as defender Noberto Paparatto made his first start of the season, helping the Timbers to a 1-0 win at Providence Park.


Goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey ranks among the league’s top goalkeepers in several categories. Kwarasey is tied for third among all goalkeepers with six shutouts this season, just two behind Seattle’s Stefan Frei (8) for the lead. Kwarasey also ranks in the top eight in saves percentage (73.1) and is tied for second in minutes played (1,350) among goalkeepers.


Through 15 league games, the Timbers have conceded the third-fewest goals to their opponents (14). Only Sounders FC (11) and the Colorado Rapids (12) have conceded fewer goals.


Never out of a contest, the Timbers are tied for first in the league with seven goals scored in the final 15 minutes of games. Recently, Portland netted the game-winning goal at Colorado in second-half stoppage time on May 30.


Tuesday’s fourth-round U.S. Open Cup match between the Timbers and Cascadia-rival Seattle Sounders FC marks the only match in the round between two MLS sides. All other MLS clubs are matched up against lower-division opponents.


Tuesday, June 16 TIME (PT)
Rochester (USL) at Philadelphia 4:30 p.m.
Atlanta (NASL) at New York Red Bulls 4:30 p.m.
Saint Louis FC (USL) at Sporting KC 5:30 p.m.
Louisville FC (USL) at Chicago 5:30 p.m.
OKC Energy FC (USL) at FC Dallas 6 p.m.
Colorado Springs (USL) at Colorado 6 p.m.
Sounders FC 2 (USL) at Real Salt Lake 7 p.m.
Sacramento (USL) at San Jose 7:30 p.m.
Portland at Seattle 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, June 17
Columbus at Richmond (USL) 4 p.m.
D.C. United at Pittsburgh (USL) 4 p.m.
New York City FC at New York Cosmos (NASL) 4:30 p.m.
Orlando City at Charleston (USL) 4:30 p.m.
Charlotte (USL) at New England 4:30 p.m.
Austin (USL) at Houston 6 p.m.
PSA Elite (USASA) at LA Galaxy 7:30 p.m.

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