USL Match Preview | Portland Timbers 2 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 | August 16, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing in the second of a three-game home stretch, T2 remain in the Rose City to square off against Cascadia-rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Sunday, Aug. 16, at Merlo Field; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Pacific). 

T2 (8-12-2, 26pts) enter the weekend just three points behind Whitecaps FC 2 and seven points out of the final playoff position in the USL Western Conference. In their last match, T2 sustained a hard-fought, 4-3 loss against OKC Energy FC on Aug. 8 at Merlo Field. Despite scoring three consecutive goals, T2 were unable to overcome a four-goal deficit against OKC Energy FC. Portland will look to regain its home-field advantage as the team plays four of its final six matches of the regular season at home. 

Midfielder George Fochive has scored three goals in the last two matches, including the game-winner against the Austin Aztex on Aug. 1 and a brace against OKC Energy FC on Aug. 8. Kharlton Belmar leads T2 in scoring with nine goals through 22 matches and ranks tied for seventh in goals (9) among all USL players. Midfielder Fatawu Safiu ranks fifth overall in shots (54) and seventh in shots per game (2.84) through 19 games played. Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson ranks fourth overall in saves (68) through 17 games played.

T2 face off against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 (8-10-5, 29pts) for the second time at Merlo Field and the fourth, and final, regular-season meeting between the two clubs. In their last matchup, Portland registered a 4-2 victory over Whitecaps FC 2 on July 19 at Merlo Field. T2 received goals from Belmar, Fatawu, Fochive and Blair Gavin in the win. 

Whitecaps FC 2 enter Sunday’s match after a 3-0 win against Seattle Sounders FC 2 on Aug. 8 at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila, Wash. Vancouver is riding a two-game winning streak but has posted a record of 3-8-1 on the road in its inaugural season. Whitecaps FC 2 rank third in saves (97) among all USL teams and are led by forward Caleb Clarke, who has registered six goals and four assists in 20 games played this season. Midfielder Marco Bustos has tallied six goals and two assists through 13 games and recorded back-to-back braces against Tulsa Roughnecks FC and Seattle Sounders FC 2 in Vancouver’s last two matches.

Tickets for Sunday’s home T2 match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 are available online by clicking here. Additionally, Sunday’s home match will be carried on a live, high-definition web stream

Following Sunday’s match, T2 remain at home to face Tulsa Roughnecks FC on Saturday, Aug. 22, at Merlo Field; kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (Pacific).