Date: Saturday, May 30, 2015
Kickoff: 6 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Commerce City, Colo.)
Forecast: 72 degrees, partly cloudy
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry, Brian Poeschel Fourth Official: Drew Fischer
Local TV: KPDX (PDX TV)
Talent: Keith Bleyer (play-by-play), Ross Smith (analyst), Samantha Yarock (reporter)
English Radio: 750 The Game (KXTG 750AM, 102.9FM)
Talent: Jake Zivin (play-by-play), Adin Brown (analyst)
Spanish Radio: La GranD (KGGD 93.5FM, 1150 AM)
Talent: Josue del Castillo (play-by-play), Ozkar Ramos (analyst)
Saturday’s match between the Timbers and Colorado Rapids marks the first meeting of the season between the two Western Conference sides. Both clubs are coming off of short rest as the Timbers earned a 1-0 win over D.C. United on Wednesday at Providence Park and Colorado sustained a 1-0 loss against Seattle at CenturyLink Field. Saturday’s game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park marks Portland’s seventh road game in their last eight regular-season matches. Portland’s game against Colorado on Saturday marks the end of a busy stretch of three games in an eight-day span for the Timbers, which started on May 23 on the road against Toronto FC. The Rapids are 1-2-3 overall at home this season, including a three-game unbeaten streak (1-0-2) since April 24. Colorado earned a 1-0 home win over Vancouver on May 23.
LAST MATCH RECAP
Forward Maximiliano Urruti tallied a goal in the fifth minute and the Timbers contained Eastern Conference-leading D.C. United to earn a 1-0 shutout win in front of 21,144 fans at Providence Park on Wednesday. Pressing from the opening whistle, the Timbers tallied the game-winning goal in the fifth minute as Urruti converted a right-footed shot from close range following a well-placed low cross from Gastón Fernández on the right flank. The goal marked Urruti’s second of the season and Portland’s 200th goal as an MLS club since 2011.
LAST TIME VS. COLORADO
Midfielder Gastón Fernández tallied the game-tying goal in the 76th minute and midfielder Diego Valeri scored his eighth goal of the year and tied his own Timbers MLS-club record for assists in a single season as the Timbers picked up an important late-season road point in a 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rapids before 15,984 fans at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Sept. 13.
ALL-TIME SERIES NOTES
Saturday’s match between the Timbers and Colorado Rapids marks the 12th meeting in the all-time MLS series. The two Western Conference clubs squared off in Portland’s inaugural MLS match on March 19, 2011, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. Two current Timbers players (Jack Jewsbury and Rodney Wallace) appeared in that match, a 3-1 setback for Portland. The Timbers have compiled a 4-5-2 regular-season record against the Rapids since 2011, including a 4-1-0 mark at Providence Park.
Over the last two-plus seasons, the Timbers have earned a 3-1-2 record against the Rapids. Portland is still in search of its first victory on the road against Colorado, logging an 0-4-2 all-time record at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Last season, Portland earned a 1-1-1 mark against the Rapids, defeating Colorado 2-1 on July 18 at Providence Park and sustaining a 2-0 loss on the road on March 22. The two teams played to a 2-2 draw on Sept. 13 in Colorado.
SCOUTING THE RAPIDS
Colorado enters Saturday’s match on short rest following a 1-0 loss against Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday at CenturyLink FIeld. Returning to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for Saturday’s game, the Rapids are unbeaten in three consecutive matches at home (1-0-2), dating back to a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas on April 24. Head coach Pablo Mastroeni’s side earned a 1-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 23 in their most recent home game. Forward Kevin Doyle made his first start for the Rapids on Wednesday against Seattle, playing 83 minutes. Colorado is led by forward Gabriel Torres with four goals and two assists, while midfielder Dillon Powers has logged one goal and a team-high five assists. Goalkeeper Clint Irwin has played each of the team’s first 12 matches, making 36 saves and recording a 0.83 goals-against average with five shutouts.
Through their first 13 matches, the Timbers rank among league leaders in several offensive categories. Entering Saturday’s match, Portland ranks fourth in shots on goal (58), while ranking second overall in shooting accuracy (52 percent). Shooting accuracy is a calculation of shots on goal divided by total shots (excluding blocked attempts). Portland ranks third overall in shots (162) and fifth in overall chances created (120), according to Opta.
AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS
Goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey has started each of the team’s first 13 games this season, logging a 1.00 goals-against average and five shutouts. Kwarasey’s five clean sheets is tied for third among MLS goalkeepers. Kwarasey also ranks among the top 10 in minutes played (1,170), saves (33) and saves percentage (71.7).
Defender Alvas Powell leads MLS with 72 total tackles through 13 appearances this season. The mark is 19 more than the next player, Vancouver’s Matias Laba (52). Of Powell’s 68 total tackles, he was won 70 of them for an MLS-best tackle success rate of 97.22 percent among players with more than 30 total tackles. In fact, defender Jorge Villafaña ranks second with a tackle success rate of 96.67 percent (29-of-30 tackles).
PUSHING THROUGH THE FOULS
Portland ranks first overall in the league in dribbles completed (116). 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 (40) and defender Alvas Powell (29) rank second and third, respectively, in the league behind FC Dallas’ Fabian Castillo (47). Highlighting the stat is the fact that the Timbers are the most fouled team in MLS (190), while Nagbe is the most-fouled player in MLS (38).
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 Liam Ridgewell enters Saturday’s match with 28 consecutive starts for the Timbers. Ridgewell has started every match for Portland since his debut on July 18, 2014. Ridgewell has played an MLS-club record 2,520 consecutive min- utes and can extend his record on Wednesday with a start against D.C. United.
Portland enters Saturday’s match against Colorado with 149 regular-season MLS matches played since 2011. Saturday’s game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park will mark the team’s 150 MLS match since 2011.
The Timbers’ next win will mark the team’s 50th regular-season victory in MLS since 2011.
Should he see playing time on Saturday against Colorado, midfielder Rodney Wallace will make his 100th career regular-season appearance for the Timbers since 2011.
Due to a span of three games in eight days, the Timbers showcased their squad depth on Wednesday in a 1-0 win against D.C. United at Providence Park. Following a match against Toronto FC on May 23, the Timbers utilized five different players in the starting XI against D.C. United (Paparatto, Asprilla, Johnson, Fernández and Urruti). It also marked the first time this season that the Timbers have used a different starting back four, as Norberto Paparatto started in place of Nat Borchers.
Midfielder Will Johnson made his 2015 debut on Wednesday against D.C. United, starting and playing 84 minutes for the first time since sustaining a fractured tibia and fibula in his right leg on Sept. 27, 2014, against Toronto FC. Johnson attempted one shot, delivered seven corner kicks and several free kicks in Portland’s 1-0 win. Prior to making his Timbers season debut, Johnson logged one assist in 270 minutes of action (3 games) for T2.
The Timbers are in the midst of a busy schedule that started with a May 23 road match against Toronto FC. Portland played host to D.C. United in a midweek match at Providence Park on Wednesday before heading out to Colorado for a road match on Saturday, for three league games (including two road games) in an eight-day span.