T2, Rennico Clarke at Arizona United SC - 9.13.16

USL MATCH PREVIEW | T2 host Arizona United SC Saturday at Merlo Field at 7 p.m. in regular-season finale

PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing in their 2016 regular-season finale and currently on a four-game winning streak, T2 will play host to Arizona United SC on Saturday, Sept. 24, at Merlo Field; kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (Pacific).

Portland is now one point behind eighth-place San Antonio FC for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. T2 can qualify for the playoffs with a win against Arizona United Saturday night and a San Antonio loss or draw on the road against Rio Grande Valley FC, while also maintaining its goal differential advantage against Orange County Blues FC should the Blues win against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. T2 could still qualify for the final playoff spot with a draw against Arizona United, but would need additional results to fall in their favor. For expanded playoff scenarios, click here.

San Antonio would need to lose to Rio Grande Valley, Orange County Blues FC would need to lose to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, and Real Monarchs SLC would need to lose to LA Galaxy II. This would move T2 ahead of San Antonio on total wins (11-10), which is the first tiebreaker, and leave T2 in the final playoff spot.

T2’s match on Saturday marks the third and final meeting between the two clubs this season, as the two teams played to a 1-1 draw at Peoria Sports Complex on April 30, while T2 defeated Arizona United 2-1 on the road on Sept. 13. Additionally, T2 are undefeated in four all-time regular-season contests against United SC (3-0-1).

T2 (11-14-4, 37pts) enter Saturday’s home finale looking to extend their club-record four-game winning streak following a 2-0 win on the road against Cascadia-rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Sept. 18 at Thunderbird Stadium. Midfielder Neco Brett opened the scoring in the 13th minute after he was released into space behind the Whitecaps FC 2 defense by midfielder Villyan Bijev. Brett cut inside on his right-foot and fired a shot that beat the goalkeeper at his near post. Bijev extended Portland’s lead in the 43rd minute after he was first to a loose back pass and chipped the goalkeeper, who initially made a fingertip save on the shot, but Bijev pounced on the rebound and slotted home from inside the six-yard box. Through 29 games played, Brett leads the team in goals scored (7), while Bijev leads the team and ranks second in the USL in assists (8).

Arizona United SC (9-13-7, 34pts) heads into Saturday’s match following a 3-2 win at home over Real Monarchs SLC on Sept. 17, which snapped a six-game losing streak. Arizona brings a 4-7-3 road record to Merlo Field and sit in 13th place in the Western Conference. Forward Long Tan, who last scored in the 3-2 win over Real Monarchs SLC, leads the team with 10 goals and six assists. In the last meeting between the two clubs at Merlo Field, T2 defeated Arizona 3-1 on July 2, 2015.

Saturday’s match will be available via a live, high-definition web stream at www.timbers2.com

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