Date: Saturday, July 18, 2015
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Forecast: Sunny, 92 degrees
Referee: Juan Guzman Jr.
Assistant Referees: Chris Strickland, Marco Arruda Fourth Official: Edvin Jurisevic
Local TV: ROOT SPORTS
Talent: Keith Bleyer (play-by-play), Ross Smith (analyst)
English Radio: 750 The Game (KXTG 750AM, 102.9FM)
Talent: Jake Zivin (play-by-play), Rob Baarts (analyst)
Spanish Radio: La GranD (KGGD 93.5FM, 1150 AM)
Talent: Josue del Castillo (play-by-play), Ozkar Ramos (analyst)
- GUEST GUIDE: Water Policies updated due to heat forecast
Portland enters Saturday’s match against Cascadia-rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC just one point off of first place in the Western Conference. The Timbers, despite sustaining a 3-0 loss on the road against the Philadelphia Union on July 11, have won six of their last eight regular-season matches, including six consecutive games without a loss at Providence Park. Portland has recorded six of its eight clean sheets at home this season, including a scoreless draw against Vancouver on May 2. Whitecaps FC enter Saturday’s match in a three-team tie on 32 points for first place in the Western Conference. Vancouver has put together a 4-3-0 record over its last seven regular-season matches, including wins against Real Salt Lake (May 30) and the LA Galaxy (June 6).
LAST MATCH RECAP
The Timbers could not overcome a late second-half push as the Philadelphia Union scored three goals in the final 21 minutes for the 3-0 win against the Timbers in front of 18,722 fans at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., on July 11. The defeat at PPL Park marked just the second loss for Portland in its last eight regular-season games and the team’s first-ever loss against the Union all-time. Union midfielder Vincent Nogueira registered a brace and midfielder Cristián Maidana tallied three assists to lead Philadelphia. Andrew Wenger scored the eventual game-winning goal in the 69th minute.
SCOUTING WHITECAPS FC
Whitecaps FC enter Saturday’s match in second place in the Western Conference standings though 20 games. Head coach Carl Robinson’s side is coming off a 1-0 home loss against Sporting Kansas City at BC Place in their first home match since May 30. Forward Octavio Rivero, a 23-year-old Uruguayan striker who joined Whitecaps FC during the offseason, has tallied seven goals in 20 appearances to help lead Vancouver, while Chilean midfielder Pedro Morales has logged three goals and a team-leading four assists. Goalkeeper David Ousted ranks third in the league with seven shutouts in 20 appearances.
LAST TIME VS. WHITECAPS FC
The Timbers dictated the flow of the match, maintaining the majority of possession and holding Cascadia-rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC to no shots on goal in the second half, while recording their fourth shutout of the season in a scoreless draw in front of a sellout crowd of 21,144 fans on May 2 at Providence Park.
ALL-TIME SERIES NOTES
Dating back to the first matchup between the Timbers and Whitecaps on May 16, 1975 – a 2-0 win for Portland in Vancouver – the Timbers are a combined 30-35-16 against their Canadian rivals. The Cascadia rivalry between Portland and Vancouver continues Saturday with the 14th MLS meeting between the sides and the 82nd overall meeting since 1975. Portland leads the MLS series 6-2-5, including a 3-1-3 record at Providence Park. In 2012, the Timbers hoisted their first Cascadia Cup as an MLS club following a 1-0 win against Whitecaps FC at BC Place in Vancouver. Midfielder Jack Jewsbury tallied the game-winning goal for the Timbers.
Portland traveled to face Vancouver earlier this season, falling 2-1 in a hard- fought derby match on March 28 at BC Place in Vancouver. The loss was just Portland’s first at BC Place in the team’s MLS era. On May 2, the two sides played to a scoreless draw at Providence Park in Portland.
Saturday’s match marks the second meeting between the two clubs at Providence Park this season and their final regular-season match in 2015.
WINNING AT HOME
The Timbers rank among league leaders with a 6-1-3 overall record at Providence Park during the 2015 season, including a Timbers MLS-club record tying streak of five straight wins. Portland is unbeaten in its last six regular-season home games since May 2. The team’s five-game winning streak at home is tied for the longest active home winning streak in MLS this season. Portland has lost just two regular season matches (17-2-12) to Western Conference opponents since 2013.
The Timbers enter Saturday’s game having won six of their last eight matches in MLS regular-season play. Portland has won seven of its last 11 (7-4-0) league matches heading into the game against Whitecaps FC. The Timbers put together a five-game winning streak from May 27-June 20 and are on a current five- game winning streak at Providence Park.
Never out of a contest, the Timbers are first in the league with 10 goals scored in the final 15 minutes of games. Recently, Portland netted a stoppage-time, game-winning goal on July 5 against San Jose and two goals after the 75th minute in a 4-1 win against Seattle on June 28. In the final 30 minutes of games, the Timbers also rank first with 15 goals scored.
Timbers forward Fanendo Adi ranks tied for second in MLS this season with three multi-goal games, behind Columbus striker Kei Kamara (4). Adi has registered seven multi-goal games in his MLS career since joining the Timbers in May 2014, which ranks as the most in MLS over that span. Adi leads the Timbers with eight goals in 20 regular-season appearances this season.
Forward Maximiliano Urruti enters Saturday’s match against Vancouver in a tie for second in the league with three game-winning goals so far in regular-season play. Urruti tallied what would stand as the game-winning goal in a 2-0 win against Houston on June 20 and also tallied the game-winner on June 6 against New England at Providence Park.
KEEPING CLEAN SHEETS
The Timbers are tied for the league lead with eight shutouts through 20 games this season, including clean sheets in five of their last six home games since May 2. Portland has conceded just six goals in 10 home games this season, which ranks tied for third in MLS.
According to Opta, Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe is the only player in MLS to have at least 40 dribbles completed and a passing accuracy of at least 85 percent.
PROVIDENCE PARK SUCCESS
Portland has compiled one of the league’s best home records with an overall mark of 22-5-17 (.693) over the last two-plus seasons since 2013. The Timbers have lost just one home game (8-1-5) in their last 14 at Providence Park dating back to the 2014 season.
CASCADIA CUP STANDINGS
No player in MLS has more blocks this season than Timbers defender Nat Borchers (21). At his current pace, Borchers will finish the season having blocked 36 shots, which would be the most in a season since Opta started tracking MLS stats in 2011.
Entering the weekend, the Timbers rank fourth in the league in the number of players who have tallied at least a goal or an assist this season. Portland has seen 14 players contributed at least one point through the team’s 20 matches, which trails Colorado (17), D.C. United (16) and Toronto FC (15).
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 Nat Borchers’ next goal will be his 15th career MLS goal. Entering the week, Borchers has netted 14 career goals since 2003, including two with the Timbers. His next goal will also tie a single-season MLS career high (3) set in 2011 with Real Salt Lake.
Midfielder Diego Chara’s next appearance will mark the 135th of his Timbers MLS career since joining the team in 2011. Chara has started 133 of his 134 career appearances with Portland.
Defender Jorge Villafaña’s next start will mark his 100th career MLS start since his debut in 2007. Additionally, it will be his 125th career MLS regular-season appearance. Villafaña enters Saturday’s match with 38 games for the Timbers (36 starts) since joining the club before the start of the 2014 season.