Date: Sunday, April 3, 2016
Kickoff: 5 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Orlando Citrus Bowl (Orlando, Fla.)
Forecast: 74 degrees, sunny
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Eric Weisbrod, Kyle Longville Fourth Official: Caleb Mendez
National TV: FOX Sports 1
Talent: John Strong (play-by-play), Alexi Lalas (analyst), Julie Stewart-Binks (reporter)
English Radio: 750 The Game (KXTG 750 AM, 102.9 FM)
Talent: Jake Zivin (play-by-play), Ross Smith (analyst)
Spanish Radio: La GranD (KGGD 93.5 FM, 1150 AM)
Talent: Josue del Castillo (play-by-play), Ozkar Ramos (analyst)
The Timbers will travel to the Orlando Citrus Bowl for the first time to take on Orlando City SC on Sunday, April 3, at 5 p.m. (Pacific). Portland enters the match after producing a comeback draw against Real Salt Lake on March 19, as Timbers forward Fanendo Adi recorded a brace in the final 11 minutes of play.
Orlando City ventures into Sunday’s fixture with an unbeaten record (1-0-2) to begin the 2016 regular season, recently defeating New York City FC 1-0 at Yankee Stadium on March 18. Forward Cyle Larin scored the team’s lone goal in the seventh minute, heading defender Rafael Ramos’ cross into the back of the net.
LAST MATCH RECAP
Behind a brace from forward Fanendo Adi, the Portland Timbers erased a two-goal deficit late in the second half to draw Real Salt Lake 2-2 before a sold-out crowd at Providence Park on March 19. Producing 26 overall shots in the game, Portland scored two goals in a five-minute stretch over the final 11 minutes of the match to battle back for the draw. The Timbers, who entered the game with the second-most shots taken in MLS, have recorded 62 shots in three games played.
LAST TIME VS. ORLANDO CITY
Despite finishing with an 18-14 advantage in shots, including a 4-3 edge in shots on goal, the Timbers fell to Orlando City SC after conceding a goal in each half. The loss ended the Timbers home unbeaten run at seven consecutive matches, dating back to the 2014 MLS season.
ALL-TIME SERIES NOTES
Sunday’s match marks the second all-time meeting between Portland and Orlando, which joined MLS in 2015. In their only contest during the 2015 campaign, the Timbers suffered a 2-0 defeat to Orlando at Providence Park, despite outshooting the Lions 18-14.
In 2015, the Timbers ranked third for shots produced against Orlando City among Western Conference teams, trailing only Real Salt Lake (23) and Seattle Sounders FC (21).
While the Timbers have made several trips to Florida during their USL and NASL eras, including games in Miami, Jacksonville and Tampa, Sunday’s fixture will mark Portland’s first game in Orlando in club history.
SCOUTING ORLANDO CITY SC
Through three games played, Orlando City SC has produced one win and two draws to start the 2016 MLS season. After drawing Real Salt Lake SC 2-2 before 60,147 fans at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, the Lions drew the Chicago Fire 1-1 in Week 2 before securing their first victory of the season in a 1-0 win over New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on March 18. Forward Cyle Larin leads the team in goals (3), shots (11) and shots on goal (7).
Led by head coach Adrian Heath, Orlando City has added seven players to its roster since its inaugural MLS campaign in 2015, including former A.C. Milan midfielder Antonio Nocerino and Brazilian striker Julio Baptista alongside Larin, who was named Rookie of the Year in 2015, and former FIFA World Player of the Year Kaka. Prior to joining MLS, Baptista and Nocerino appeared in over 700 professional matches combined.
After recording a brace against Real Salt Lake on March 19, Fanendo Adi became the first Timbers player during the team’s MLS era to score three goals in the first three games of the season. Overall, Adi is the fourth player in Portland history across all eras (since 1975) to accomplish that feat, along with Ryan Pore (2010), Andrew Gregor (2007) and Dale Mitchell (1981).
Additionally, dating back to last season, Adi has scored nine goals in Portland’s last eight regular-season games, joining Alan Gordon (2004), McKinley Tennyson (2002) and Peter Withe (1975) as the only players in Timbers history across all eras (since 1975) to score at least nine goals over an eight-game span.
The Orlando Citrus Bowl is the 101st different stadium to play host to the Timbers for a league match since the club’s first road game on May 11, 1975, against the Denver Dynamos at Jefferson County Stadium in Lakewood, Colorado. The match against Orlando City also signifies the only time this season that the Timbers will play in a stadium for the first time.
Additionally, the Citrus Bowl will mark the eighth different stadium in Florida that the Timbers have visited for a match. The other stadiums include FIU Stadium (Miami), the Gator Bowl (Jacksonville), Lockhart Stadium (Fort Lauderdale), Steinbrenner Field (Tampa), Tamiani Park (Miami), Tampa Stadium (Tampa) and Tropical Park Stadium (Olympia Heights).
ON THE ROAD IN THE EAST
Since the 2013 season, Portland has compiled an impressive 7-4-4 record (25pts) on the road against Eastern Conference teams. In those 15 matches, Portland has notched multiple goals in nine games.
Former Timbers goalkeeper Joe Bendik joined Orlando City SC prior to the start of the season in a trade with Toronto FC. Bendik, who has started all three games for Orlando in 2016, played with the Timbers in 2012, logging 326 minutes and 11 saves in five games played (3 starts).
Timbers forward Jack McInerney is tied for 12th place among active MLS players for goals on the road (12). In his debut with Portland in 2016, McInerney added to his tally when he scored the team’s lone goal against San Jose at Avaya Stadium on March 13. Additionally, the Timbers have two players on their roster that rank in the top 15 among active players for away games played, with Nat Borchers ranking fifth (162) and Ned Grabavoy tied for 15th (135).
After registering a season-high 26 shots against Real Salt Lake on March 19, the Timbers currently rank second in MLS for shots taken (62), trailing New York City FC. In the second half, Portland is tied for first for shots taken (31). In addition, Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri leads the league in corner kicks (30).
ON THE NATIONAL STAGE
The Timbers know how to put on a show for national television - combining with opponents for an average of 3.04 goals per game on national broadcasts since the 2011 season.
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 (since 1975) 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.
Additionally, with his next victory, Kwarasey will move into fifth place for wins in Portland history across all eras (since 1975).
Following his next assist, midfielder Diego Chara will move into a tie for 13th place for assists with Brian Grant (1977-1982) and Stuart Lee (1980-1928) across all eras (since 1975).
With his next assist, midfielder Jack Jewsbury will rank 11th across all eras (since 1975) in Timbers history.