Matchday Preview, Timbers vs. Houston, 8.21.15
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

KeyBank Scouting Report Matchday Preview | Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers | Aug. 21, 2015


Date: Friday, Aug. 21, 2015
Kickoff: 8 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Forecast: Partly Cloudy, 74 degrees
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referees: Michael Kampmeinert, Eduardo Mariscal Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal
National TV/Local TV: UniMás/KPDX Channel 49
Talent: Jorge Perez Navarro (play-by-play), Diego Balado (analyst), Xavi Sol (reporter)
English Radio: 750 The Game (KXTG 750AM, 102.9FM)
Talent: Jake Zivin (play-by-play), Brett Jacobs (analyst)
Spanish Radio: La GranD (KGGD 93.5FM, 1150 AM)
Talent: Josue del Castillo (play-by-play), Ozkar Ramos (analyst)


The Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo square off on Friday for the third, and final, time during the regular season, sponsored by JELD-WEN Windows & Doors. Portland enters Friday’s nationally televised match following three consecutive shutouts from Aug. 2-15, including a 1-0 win on the road against Real Salt Lake on Aug. 15. Portland has not con- ceded a goal in 273 consecutive minutes. At home, the Timbers have compiled an eight-game unbeaten streak, dating back to May 2. Portland has earned six shutouts during the home unbeaten streak. Houston enters Friday’s match after sustaining a 2-0 defeat against New England Revolution on Aug. 15 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. First-year Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle’s side is 3-2-2 over its last seven regular-season matches.


Defender Nat Borchers registered the game-winning goal in the final seconds of second-half stoppage time and the Timbers earned their second consecutive win and third straight shutout with a 1-0 victory against Real Salt Lake before 20,338 fans on Aug. 15 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The shutout win marked Portland’s league-leading 11th clean sheet of the season and moved the Timbers (11-8-6, 39pts) into fourth place in the Western Conference standings through 25 games. Portland is just four points shy of the first-place LA Galaxy (43pts).


The Timbers square off against Houston on Friday for just the eighth time in MLS since 2011 as the Dynamo made the move from the Eastern Conference in 2015 following the addition of MLS expansion sides New York City FC and Orlando City SC. The two sides have already met twice during the 2015 season, with each club earning a win at home. Houston earned a 3-1 win at BBVA Compass Stadium on May 16, while Portland took a 2-0 victory on June 20 at Providence Park. The Timbers have registered a 2-1-0 all-time home record against Houston since 2011, earning consecutive wins in their last two meetings at Providence Park against the Dynamo. Friday’s match marks only the fourth time Houston has traveled to Providence Park dating back to 2011 as well as the third, and final, regular-season meeting between the two clubs this season.


The Timbers extended their MLS regular-season winning streak to four consecutive games and tallied a fourth straight home shutout as forward Maximiliano Urruti and midfielder Gastón Fernández contributed goals in a 2-0 win against the Houston Dynamo on June 20 in front of a sellout crowd of 21,144 fans at Providence Park.


Houston enters Friday’s match after sustaining a 2-0 defeat against New England Revolution on Aug. 15 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. First-year Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle’s side is 3-2-2 over its last seven regular-season matches, but has registered a 2-6-4 overall record on the road this season and has dropped four straight road games across all competitions since July 18. Houston is led by forward Will Bruin with nine goals in 23 appearances, while forward Giles Barnes has registered six goals and two assists this season.


The Timbers rank among league leaders with a 7-1-4 overall record at Providence Park during the 2015 season, including a Timbers MLS-club record tying streak of five straight wins from May 27-July 5. Portland is unbeaten in its last eight regular-season home games since May 2. Portland has compiled one of the league’s best home records with an overall mark of 23-5-18 (.696) over the last two-plus seasons since 2013. The Timbers have lost just one home game (11-2-6) in their last 19 at Providence Park dating back to the 2014 season.


Portland has compiled the lowest home goals-against average (0.58) through 12 games at Providence Park this season. The Timbers have conceded just seven goals at home, which is second only to the San Jose Earthquakes (6 goals conceded in 10 home games).


The Timbers have put together an eight-game home unbeaten streak, dating back to a draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 2. Portland’s home unbeaten streak is the second-longest active home unbeaten streak in MLS this season, behind only Sporting Kansas City’s current 12-game home unbeaten streak.


The Timbers entered the week tied for first overall in MLS with 264 chances created (including assists). Portland is tied with Columbus Crew SC (which faced New York City FC on Wednesday). Midfielder Darlington Nagbe ranks first in the league with 50 chances created from open play.


So far this season, the Timbers have had four players (Adam Kwarasey, Liam Ridgewell, Alvas Powell and Jorge Villafaña) play at least 2,110 minutes. Each one of the quartet ranks in the top 15 for most minutes played. Entering the week, Portland is the only team in MLS with more than three players with 2,110 minutes or more.


Defender Alvas Powell, who turned 21 years old on July 18, is the only MLS player with 100 or more clearances (109), tackles (107) and recoveries (169) during the 2015 season so far. In addition, the Jamaican defender has won far more duels (221) than any other MLS player this season.


Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey ranks first in MLS with 11 clean sheets in 24 appearances this season. Kwarasey, who is in his first season with the Timbers, ranks tied for second in wins (11) and in minutes played (2,160). Additionally, Kwarasey ranks tied for third in the league with a 1.04 goals-against average.


This season, Portland has been one of the most accurate passing teams in MLS. (ranking fifth in the league with a passing accuracy of 79.28 percent) Leading the way for the Timbers in passing accuracy are Jack Jewsbury (88.74), Darlington Nagbe (88.48), Will Johnson (88.33 percent) and Nat Borchers (88.06). Entering the week, each member of that quartet is in the top eight for passing accuracy among MLS players with at least 300 attempted passes. Midfielder Diego Chara ranks first overall on the Timbers with 1,080 pass attempts (86.85 percent accuracy).


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. Additionally, Jewsbury’s next appearance will mark his 325th career MLS game. Jewsbury ranks 17th all-time in MLS in career appearances.

Midfielder Diego Valeri has compiled 77 career points (23g, 31a) during his Timbers MLS career and is just two points shy of tying NASL Timbers great Willie Anderson (79pts) for fifth place all-time on the Timbers leaderboard across all eras in career points.

With his next goal, forward Fanendo Adi will tie the Timbers MLS single-season club record for goals in a season (11), set by midfielder Diego Valeri in 2014. Adi tallied his 10th goal in a 1-0 win against Chicago on Aug. 7 at Providence Park. The single-season club record across all eras is 18 goals scored by Fadi Afash in 2002. Adi’s next goal also will be his 20th career regular-season goal for Portland.

Midfielder Diego Chara’s next appearance will be his 140th career MLS game for the Timbers. Chara joined Portland in 2011, making his MLS and team debut on April 23, 2011.

Defender Alvas Powell’s next match will mark his 45th career MLS appearance. Should he start on Friday against Houston, it will be the 21-year-old’s 40th career start since joining Portland midway through the 2013 season.

Defender Liam Ridgewell will mark his 40th career MLS appearance for Portland should he see action on Friday.

Defender Jorge Villafaña’s next appearance will be his 130th career MLS game and his 44th career appearance for Portland.