Date: Saturday, March 19, 2016
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Forecast: Mostly cloudy, 55 degrees
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson and Mike Rottersman Fourth Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Local TV: KPTV FOX 12
Talent: Jake Zivin (play-by-play), Ross Smith (analyst), Samantha Yarock (sideline reporter)
English Radio: 750 The Game (KXTG 750 AM, 102.9 FM)
Talent: Keith Bleyer (play-by-play), Brett Jacobs (analyst)
Spanish Radio: La GranD (KGGD 93.5 FM, 1150 AM)
Talent: Josue del Castillo (play-by-play), Ozkar Ramos (analyst)
The Timbers return to Providence Park to take on Western Conference foes Real Salt Lake on Saturday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). Portland enters Saturday’s contest with a 13-3-9 record immediately following a loss, dating back to the 2013 MLS campaign. The Timbers are unbeaten in five consecutive regular-season games against Real Salt Lake (3-0-2), dating back to June 7, 2014. Real Salt Lake enter Saturday’s match with an unbeaten record (1-0-1) to begin the 2016 regular season, recently defeating Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Week 2 when center back Jamison Olave scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute.
LAST MATCH RECAP
In their first away match of the 2016 season, the Timbers fell to the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 before 18,000 fans at Avaya Stadium on March 13. In just their second trip to Avaya Stadium, Portland produced 16 shots in the match – eight more than San Jose, but Chris Wondolowski and Quincy Amarikwa tallied first-half goals for the Earthquakes and the Timbers were unable to overcome the 2-0 halftime deficit. Forward Jack McInerney scored Portland’s lone goal in the 89th minute.
LAST TIME VS. REAL SALT LAKE
Recording a 15-7 advantage in shots, including a 5-2 edge on goal, the Portland Timbers registered their 13th shutout of the 2015 season in a 1-0 road win in front of 19,457 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
ALL-TIME SERIES NOTES
Saturday’s match marks the 15th all-time regular-season meeting between the Timbers and Real Salt Lake since 2011, and the first of three regular-season contests scheduled between both clubs in 2016.
The Timbers are unbeaten in five consecutive regular-season games against Real Salt Lake (3-0-2), dating back to June 7, 2014. In their most recent match up on Oct. 14, 2015, the Timbers secured a 1-0 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium after Fanendo Adi buried a penalty kick early in the second half.
Additionally, Portland has recorded four straight shutouts against the Utah- based club, dating back to Oct. 7, 2014.
SCOUTING REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake ventures into Providence Park with an unbeaten record (1-0-1) to start the 2016 MLS season. After drawing Orlando City SC 2-2 before 60,147 fans at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, Real Salt Lake defeated Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Week 2 when center back Jamison Olave scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute. Forward Joao Plata, who has 23 career goals for RSL, leads the team in goals (2), assists (2) and shots (5) to begin the 2016 campaign.
Led by Head Coach Jeff Cassar, Real Salt Lake entered the 2016 season with six new additions after losing eight players in the offseason, including defender Chris Schuler, midfielder Luis Gil and forward Sebastian Jaime.
Midfielder Sunny Obayan, who spent eight seasons playing in various leagues in Spain, highlights Real Salt Lake’s offseason moves after scoring the opening goal in their 2-1 win against Seattle.
TIMBERS TRACK RECORD
Since the 2013 campaign, the Timbers are 13-3-9 overall immediately following a loss.
In the last three seasons, Portland has lost just 26 times in 103 league matches (42-26-36 overall). That is the fewest amount of defeats during that span. The Timbers lost just five matches in 2013, which is tied for the fewest losses in a 34-game schedule in MLS history.
Additionally, the Timbers have compiled a 25-7-20 regular-season mark at Providence Park since 2013, with the team’s seven home losses being the second-fewest in MLS over the last three seasons, trailing only the LA Galaxy (4). Portland has also registered the most shutouts over the last three seasons (35) in MLS play.
Timbers forward Jack McInerney scored Portland’s lone goal against the San Jose Earthquakes on March 13, becoming the sixth player to score in his debut with the Timbers in MLS play. The finish from McInerney, the 39th of his career, is the most for any MLS player born in 1992 or later and ranks 18th overall in the league for active players.
HEAD TO HEAD
Portland has a 4-5-5 record against Real Salt Lake in regular-season games since 2011, recording only one loss at home. The Timbers are currently unbeaten in their last five games against RSL, dating back to June 7, 2014.
Portland has recorded four consecutive shutouts against Real Salt Lake, dating back to Oct. 17, 2014. The Timbers kept Real Salt Lake scoreless in all three regular-season meetings in 2015, while scoring two goals to produce a 2-0-1 record.
Portland defender Nat Borchers and midfielder Ned Grabavoy could potentially face their former club for the first time together as teammates, after previously playing 364 combined league games for RSL. In his first season with Portland in 2015, Borchers scored the game-winning goal against Real Salt Lake on Aug. 15, 2015, in the final seconds of the match, propelling the Timbers to a dramatic 1-0 win at Rio Tinto Stadium.
After registering 16 shots against San Jose in Week 2, the Timbers currently rank second in MLS for shots taken (36), posting two less than Columbus Crew SC. Portland midfielder Diego Valeri is fifth in MLS for shots taken (10), while Timbers forward Dairon Asprilla ranks ninth with seven shots so far this season..
BUILDING ON SUCCESS
Portland has compiled a 24-7-20 regular-season mark at Providence Park since 2013, with the team’s seven home losses being the second-fewest in MLS over the last three seasons, trailing only the LA Galaxy (4).
Since 2013, the Timbers have compiled regular-season point totals of 57 (2013), 49 (2014) and 53 (2015), reaching the postseason in two of the last three years. Over that span of time, Portland’s combined point total (159) ranks as the fourth most in MLS, behind only the New York Red Bulls (169), Seattle Sounders FC (167) and LA Galaxy (165). Portland concluded the 2015 season with an MLS-club record mark with 15 wins, while tying for the league lead in shutouts (13). The Timbers finished with the league lead in both chances created (477) and total shots (486), while also conceding the third-fewest goals (39) among all teams.
Midfielder Diego Chara is tied for fourth place in Timbers history for games played (148). With one more appearance, Chara will move into sole possession of fourth place across all eras (since 1975).
With two more goals, forward Fanendo Adi, who has 26 goals with Portland, will move into a tie for sixth place in Timbers history for goals scored across all eras (since 1975).
Diego Valeri has scored 24 times for the Timbers. Following his next finish, Valeri will move into a tie for seventh place across all eras (since 1975).
Goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey currently ranks fifth in Portland history for shutouts. With his next clean sheet, Kwarasey will be tied for fourth place with Mick Poole and Josh Wicks on the Timbers all-time shutout list.
With his next assist, midfielder Jack Jewsbury will rank 11th across all eras (since 1975) in Timbers history.
Timbers fans should note that the entrance policies for Providence Park have changed. Please be sure to consult the Providence Park Guest Guide and remember that fans are allowed to bring only one bag per person.