Date: Sunday, March 8, 2020
Kickoff: 4 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: Providence Park (Portland, Ore.) Forecast: Partly cloudy, 51 degrees
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Jose Da Silva, Chris Elliott Fourth Official: Guido Gonzales Jr.
VAR: Ricardo Salazar
NATIONAL TV: ESPN
Talent: Jon Champion (play-by-play), Taylor Twellman (analyst)
English Radio: 750 The Game
Talent: Jake Zivin (play-by-play), Nat Borchers (analyst), Fletcher Johnson (host)
Spanish Radio: La GranD (KGGD 93.5 FM, 1150 AM)
Talent: Josue Castillo (play-by-play), Oscar Ramos (analyst)
The Portland Timbers return to Providence Park this weekend, playing host to expansion side Nashville SC on Sunday, March 8, at Providence Park. Beginning at 4 p.m. (Pacific), the match against Nashville features a national television broadcast on ESPN with local radio broadcasts and local radio broadcasts on 750 The Game (English) and La GranD 1150AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).
Sunday’s game marks the first-ever meeting between the Timbers and Nashville SC in MLS. Heading into the match, the Timbers are coming off a 3-1 loss against Minnesota United FC at Providence Park on March 1, with midfielder Diego Valeri scoring Portland’s first goal of the 2020 campaign. Nashville is coming off a 2-1 home loss against Atlanta United FC in their MLS debut on Feb. 29, with defender Walker Zimmerman scoring Nashville SC’s first goal in league his- tory. The match will also mark Nashville’s first-ever away match in MLS history.
Nashville SC (0-1-0, 0 pts) enters Sunday’s match against the Timbers following a 2-1 loss to Atlanta United FC in front of 59,069 fans at Nissan Stadium on Feb. 29. Defender Walker Zimmerman scored the first goal in club his- tory in the 28th minute in the loss against Atlanta. One of two expansion teams in MLS in 2020, Nashville acquired Zimmerman from LAFC on Feb. 11, while the club signed Hany Mukhtar as its first Designated Player on Aug. 27, 2019.
LAST TIME OUT
Opening their 10th season in MLS, the Portland Timbers rallied from an early second-half deficit, but were unable to overcome a pair of late goals from Minnesota United FC, falling 3-1 in front of 25,218 fans at Providence Park on March 1.
TIMBERS AGAINST MLS EXPANSION CLUBS
In 11 all-time meetings against MLS expansion sides dating back to the 2011 season, the Timbers have posted a record of 5-4-2. In five matches at Providence Park against expansion clubs, the Timbers hold a record of 3-1-1. Notably, Diego Valeri has scored the most goals against MLS expansion sides (3) in Timbers history. The last time the Timbers played an expansion team at Providence Park, Portland earned a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles FC on May 19, 2019.
VALERI CLOSING IN ON 80 GOALS / 80 ASSISTS CLUB
With his goal in the home opener against Minnesota United FC on March 1, Diego Valeri now sits at 77 goals and 81 assists in 212 appearances (203 starts) in league play since joining the Timbers in 2013. Valeri needs three more goals to reach 80-plus goals and 80-plus assists for his career in regular-season play. Landon Donovan (145 goals, 136 assists) and Jaime Moreno (133 goals, 102 assists) are the only players in MLS history to reach 80-plus goals and 80-plus assists in their career during the regular season.
TIMBERS CONNECTIONS WITH NASHVILLE
Nashville SC midfielder Derrick Jones played with Jeremy Ebobisse and Eryk Williamson for the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in South Korea. Jones also played with Marco Farfan on the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team in 2019. Nashville SC defender Daniel Lovitz played with Ebobisse on the USMNT against Panama on Jan. 28, 2019. Lovitz also played with Chris Duvall on the Montreal Impact in 2017. Nashville defender Jack Maher played with Ebobisse, Farfan and Williamson on the U.S. U-23 Men’s National Team in 2019. Nashville midfielder Dax McCarty selected by the Timbers as their first pick in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft and then traded with allocation money to D.C. United for Rodney Wallace and a fourth-round pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. McCarty also played with Chris Duvall on the New York Red Bulls from 2014-16. Nashville defender Eric Miller played for Portland Timbers U23s in USL League Two from 2012-13. Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis played with Duvall on the Houston Dynamo in 2019. Nashville defender Walker Zimmerman played with Ebobisse on the USMNT against Panama on Jan. 28, 2019. Nashville midfielder Randall Leal played with Marvin Loría on the Costa Rican U-20 Men’s National Team during the Concacaf U-20 Championship in 2017.
ALL-TIME SERIES NOTES
Sunday’s match marks Portland’s first-ever meeting against MLS-expansion side Nashville SC. Announced as the 27th team in Major League Soccer on Dec. 20, 2017, Nashville SC became the first MLS club based in Tennessee to join the league.
The Timbers have played two matches against teams based in Memphis, Tenn., both times facing the Memphis Rogues, producing a 1-1-0 record during their NASL era. First, Portland defeated the Rogues 1-0 at Civic Stadium on May 13, 1978 in front of 6,955 fans. Two years later, the Timbers lost 2-1 to the Rogues on Aug. 5, 1980 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis.