Date: Aug. 1, 2020
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Orlando, Fla.)
Forecast: Partly cloudy, 81 degrees
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Jose Da Silva, Cory Richardson Fourth Official: Ramy Touchan
VAR: Allen Chapman
NATIONAL TV: FS1
Talent: John Strong (play-by-play), Stu Holden (analyst)
English Radio: 750 The Game
Talent: Jake Zivin (play-by-play), Nat Borchers (analyst), Judah Newby (host)
Spanish Radio: La GranD (KGGD 93.5 FM, 1150 AM)
The Portland Timbers will square off against New York City FC in the Quarterfinals of the MLS is Back Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 1, at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific), at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The match will feature a national broadcast on FS1, with local radio broadcasts on 750 The Game (English) and La GranD 1150AM/93.5 FM (Spanish). Saturday’s match marks the sixth meeting all-time between Portland and NYCFC, with the Timbers leading the series 4-1-0. Portland posted a record of 2-0-1 (7pts) in three group stage matches as part of the MLS is Back Tournament to finish atop Group F. Tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes of play, the Portland Timbers advanced to the quarterfinal round of the MLS is Back Tournament with a 4-2 win on penalty kicks against FC Cincinnati at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on July 28. Individually, Jeremy Ebobisse has tallied three goals in the tournament, while Sebastián Blanco has registered one goal and four assists in four tournament appearances. Diego Valeri has registered one goal and one assist in four tournament appearances. Notably, Jaroslaw Niezgoda tallied a goal for a second consecutive match against FC Cincinnati on July 28. Entering Saturday’s Quarterfinal match against Portland, NYCFC finished third in Group A (1-2-0) and advanced to the Knockout Round after earning a 1-0 win over Inter Miami CF on July 20. In their Round of 16 match, New York City defeated Toronto FC 3-1 behind goals from Jesús Medina, Valentín Castellanos and Maximiliano Moralez on July 26.
SCOUTING NEW YORK CITY FC
Entering Saturday’s Quarterfinal match against Portland, NYCFC finished third in Group A (1-2-0) and advanced to the Knockout Round after earning a 1-0 win over Inter Miami CF on July 20. In their Round of 16 match, New York City de- feated Toronto FC 3-1 behind goals from Jesús Medina, Valentín Castellanos and Maximiliano Moralez on July 26. In five regular-season appearances for NYC in 2020, goalkeeper Sean Johnson has made 22 saves, tallied one shutout and holds a 1.20 goals-against average. As a team, New York City has played five league matches and has registered only two goals this year.
ALL-TIME SERIES NOTES
Saturday’s match marks the sixth meeting across all competitions between Portland and New York City FC dating back to April 19, 2015, with Portland leading the series 4-1-0. The Timbers have defeated NYCFC in every road match they have contested (3-0-0), outscoring NYC 3-0. In the last regular-season matchup between the two clubs, the Timbers earned a 1-0 victory at Yankee Stadium behind the game-winning goal from Sebastián Blanco on July 7, 2019. In the five meetings between the two teams, Portland has tallied four shutouts against New York City. Notably, the Timbers have registered three straight wins against NYC dating back to Sept. 9, 2017.
DIEGO ‘LA SONRISA’ CHARA
Portland midfielder Diego Chara is the club’s all-time leader in games played (267), games started (264) and minutes played (23,406) during the MLS regular season. Since making his debut with the Timbers on April 23, 2011, Chara has notably appeared in a club record 299 matches (296 starts) across all competitions, in addition to ranking first in tackles won (719), first in fouls conceded (649), fifth in fouls won (432) and third amongst all MLS field players in recoveries (1,897) during regular-season play.
SEBA BLANCO AMONG MLS’ BEST
After tallying an assist for a fourth consecutive match in the MLS is Back Tournament against FC Cincinnati on July 28, Sebastián Blanco has now tallied 30 goals and 36 assists in 114 appearances (108 starts) for the Timbers across all competitions. Blanco has tallied one goal and ranks first on the team with four assists during the MLS is Back Tournament. In 35 appearances (34 starts) for Portland across all competitions in 2019, Blanco tallied seven goals and 13 assists. Since the start of the 2017 MLS campaign, Blanco ranks second amongst all players in the league in chances created from open play (198), sixth in assists (33), tied for sixth in dribbles attempted (342), tied for 15th in games played (99) and tied for 22nd in goals scored (25) during regular-season play.
GIO COACHING AGAINST NYCFC
Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Saverese has managed against New York City FC in four different matches with both the Timbers and the New York Cosmos. Savarese has never lost to NYCFC with three wins and one penalty kick shootout win. The Venezuelan head coach is 2-0-0 against New York City as manager of the Timbers, while Savarese is 1-0-1 in two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches against NYC as manager of the Cosmos.