The Portland Timbers Reserves will host Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves in Portland’s home opener on Sunday, May 27, at 2 p.m. at JELD-WEN Field.
Both teams’ previous game was played against each other, all the way back on April 22, a 3-0 win for the Timbers Reserves at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C. Portland’s Brent Richards scored just before halftime, and midfielder Franck Songo’o and forward Bright Dike rounded out the scoring in the second half. Midfielder Charles Renken also recorded two assists for the Timbers Reserves. With the win, Portland improved to 2-1-0 (6 pts). Vancouver dropped to 1-1-1 (4 pts) in the Reserves Western Conference.
Who could be a factor in the second meeting of the season between these two rivals? Let’s take a look.
WATCH: My Skill Set with Sebastián Rincón
Sebastián Rincón - The first-year forward from Colombia started in the Timbers Reserves first match of the season, playing 67 minutes. The youngster also started in the Timbers' preseason match against Chivas USA on March 1. Growing up, Rincón was no stranger to the pitch; his father, Freddy Rincón, played in 84 games with the Colombian National Team, scored 17 goals, and also played in three FIFA World Cups.
Andrew Jean-Baptiste – Another MLS rookie, Jean-Baptiste (above) has seen playing time with the first-team as well as the Timbers Reserves in 2012. The defender has played in four MLS matches this year for the Timbers, starting three matches, and appeared in the second-half of a friendly match against Valencia CF this past Wednesday, May 23. He also scored the equalizing goal in a 3-1 win for Portland against Philadelphia on March 12. Along with the first team, Jean-Baptiste has played in two Reserves matches, starting one, and played the entire second half against the Whitecaps FC Reserves on April 22.
Brad Knighton – In his first season with Vancouver, Knighton has established himself as the backup to first-team goalkeeper Joe Cannon. However, on March 17, Knighton was forced into duty in the 49th minute on the road against Chivas USA when Cannon got injured. The end result made history for the Whitecaps FC, as the squad won 1-0 and earned their first road victory as an MLS club and Knighton was credited with the win. The 27-year-old has a 5-5-4 career-record in MLS in his fifth season. In the Reserves League in 2012, Knighton has started all three matches for Vancouver, and is 1-1-1. Knighton also played eight games with the Portland Timbers during the USL-era in 2008.
Michael Nanchoff – The former teammate of Portland’s Darlington Nagbe at the University of Akron, Nanchoff played in the last match for Whitecaps FC’s Reserves against Portland in April. Last season in the Reserve League, the Vancouver midfielder was impressive, logging a goal and two assists in seven starts. This season, Nanchoff suffered a heel injury in the preseason and has yet to see the field for Vancouver in MLS regular season play, but he did play in both games against Edmonton FC in the semifinals of the Amway Canadian Championship at the beginning of May.
-The Timbers Reserves (2-1-0, 6 pts) are currently atop the West Division of the Reserve League Standings. Vancouver (1-1-1, 4 pts) is tied for third.
-The Timbers Reserves are 3-0-0 all-time against Whitecaps FC Reserves. Portland won both meetings in 2011, and beat Vancouver 3-0 on April 22.
-Portland and Vancouver will square off in MLS regular-season play on Saturday, May 26, at 7:00 p.m. at JELD-WEN Field, in the teams’ first of three regular-season meetings in 2012. Saturday’s match will be streamed at www.portlandtimbers.com.
-Tickets are $10 and available at the JELD-WEN Field box office and at Ticketmaster.com.