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Craig Mitchelldyer-Portland Timbers

This week in PTFC: Azteca, Challenge Cup Final, Sounders in massive week of Portland soccer

In one of the biggest weeks in PTFC history has arrived, with both Thorns FC and the Timbers playing huge games this week. 

On Wednesday, the Timbers will travel to take on Club América (7:15pm PT, FS1) in the second of its two-legged series in the quarterfinals of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League. The teams drew 1-1 in the first leg at Providence Park.

Then on Saturday, Thorns FC will square off in the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup final against Gotham FC (10am PT, CBS). 

The week finishes with Portland taking on the rival Seattle Sounders FC at Providence Park on Sunday (12pm PT, ABC)

What's on tap for Timbers

The Timbers have one of the biggest double-game weeks in club history with the CCL quarterfinals and an MLS match against Sounders FC. Portland's match against América will be the first time the Timbers have played in Mexico. 

What's on tap for Thorns

Having finished the group stage of the Challenge Cup with a record of 3-0-1, Thorns FC will host Gotham FC in the 2021 Challenge Cup final. Gotham FC finished with a record of 2-0-2 in the group stage to win the East Division. 

Timbers Opponent Connections

When the Timbers take on the Sounders it will be the 112th match between men's soccer club teams from Seattle and Portland. The series started on May 2, 1975. 

Thorns Opponent Connections

The Thorns will face Gotham for the first time since the clubs met on Aug. 3, 2019, when Gotham was known as Sky Blue FC. In that match, the clubs played to a 1-1 draw in front of 19,070 fans at Providence Park. 

The leading scorer for Gotham in the 2021 Challenge Cup is Midge Purce, who has scored twice this season. Purce played for Thorns FC for two seasons (2018-2019). 

#StatMan randomness

  • Wednesday's match will be played at Estadio Azteca, which is at an altitude of 7,200 feet above sea level. It will be the highest altitude that the Timbers have ever played at, in all eras of the club. 
  • Both Thorns manager Mark Parsons and Gotham manager Freya Coombe started their managerial careers as coaches for reserve teams in England. Parsons led the Chelsea Ladies Reserves while Coombe managed the reserves for Reading FC Women. 
  • The Timbers are in the middle of a stretch that sees the club play five matches in 15 days. 

Five numbers to know 

10Forward Felipe Mora has played 10 competitive matches against Club América in his career. Of those 10, Mora has eight starts and two goals. 

4Saturday's match will be the fourth final in the history of the Thorns. The team won the NWSL Championship in 2013 and 2017 while finishing as runners-up in 2018.

6Thorns FC have scored six goals in the 2021 Challenge Cup, with all six being scored by different players. The six goalscorers have been Christine Sinclair, Simone Charley, Lindsey Horan, Morgan Weaver, Tyler Lussi and Rocky Rodríguez.

9In regular season games against Sounders FC, Diego Valeri has scored five goals while also delivering nine assists. Valeri's nine assists are the most of any MLS player against Seattle. 

100While teams from Portland and Seattle have played more matches, Sunday will be the 100th match between teams called the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders. In MLS regular season and playoff games, each club has won exactly 14 matches. 

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