It’s a crucial Cascadia Cup clash this Saturday in Portland as the Timbers (5-13-6, 21 points) host their rivals, the Vancouver Whitecaps (10-9-7, 37 points) in a 7:30 p.m. PT match at Jeld-Wen Field.
* Throw out the records
Something will have to give in Saturday’s match. It’s basically going to be an all out battle between one team that hasn’t won in almost two months and another which hasn’t won on the road since June.
Since taking over for John Spencer in July, Timbers General Manager/Interim Coach Gavin Wilkinson has gone 0-5-2 and the team has been outscored 18 to 8. While the Timbers have been good at home for most of the season, they’re still looking for their first 3 points there under Wilkinson.
The Whitecaps however, have been pretty dismal on the road this season. While it’s not quite like the Timbers ineptitude on the road, the Whitecaps are only 2-8-3 away from BC Place, and recently suffered back to back 2-0 roads defeats to extend their road losing streak to five games.
Regardless of each teams current form, this is going to be a fantastic match.
* The Cascadia Cup
With the Timbers almost statistically eliminated (a loss on Saturday or a San Jose Earthquakes victory will do it) from any chance of a berth in the MLS Cup playoffs, all hope for glory rests in the Cascadia Cup. The current standings in the Cascadia Cup are as follows:
Cascadia Cup standings
- Saturday: Vancouver at Portland
- September 15th: Seattle at Portland
- September 29th: Seattle at Vancouver
- October 7th: Portland at Seattle
- October 29th: Portland at Vancouver
Needless to say, there’s a lot at stake here in Saturday’s match and with the season the Timbers are having, a victory here can put them in good shape for a chance at Cascadia Cup glory.
* Diego Chara is the Timbers MVP
I saw a great question on Twitter:
Tough question right? A few weeks back, many of the Timbers faithful would have said Troy Perkins. And when you say “best,” do you mean playing the best right now or the best all-around talent? I decided to answer the question by adding a qualifier:
The Timbers are going to miss Diego Chara on Saturday. He’s the one player the Timbers couldn’t afford to have suspended for this match. This doesn’t necessarily make him the Timbers best player, but in my opinion, he is their most valuable. I take a bit of solace knowing that one of Vancouver’s best players this season, Gershon Koffie, will also be out due to a suspension handed down from the MLS Disciplinary Committee. Between the two players though, Chara is definitely more valuable to his town and it will be some big shoes to fill for the Timbers.
Timbers Starting Lineup: GK Donovan Ricketts; RB Kosuke Kimura, CB Hanyer Mosquera, CB David Horst, LB Steven Smith; MF Darlington Nagbe, MF Jack Jewsbury (c), MF Eric Alexander; FWD Sal Zizzo, Bright Dike, Franck Songo’o #RCTID
Timbers Subs: GK Joe Bendik, DEF Futty Danso, DEF/MF Lovel Palmer, DEF/MF Rodney Wallace, FW Kris Boyd, FW Mike Fucito, FW Danny Mwanga
Whitecaps Starting Lineup: GK Joe Cannon; RB Y.P Lee, CB Andy O’Brien, CB Jay DeMerit, LB Alain Rochat; MF John Thorrington, MF Jun Marques Davidson; MF Dane Richards, MF Barry Robson, FW Camilo; FW Kenny Miller
Whitecaps Subs: GK Brad Knighton, FW Atiba Harris, DEF Jordan Harvey, DEF Martin Bonjour, MF Russell Teibert, MF Matt Watson, FW Darren Mattocks
INJURY REPORT: PORTLAND TIMBERS – OUT: DF Chris Taylor (R hip surgery); PROBABLE: MF Kalif Alhassan (L patellar tendinitis); DF Kosuke Kimura (concussion/nose fracture) … VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – OUT: FW Omar Salgado (R foot fracture); PROBABLE: DF Jay DeMerit (concussion)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: POR: Diego Chara (caution accumulation; through Aug. 26) … VAN: Gershon Koffie (through Aug. 26)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: POR: Lovel Palmer … VAN: Jun Marques Davidson, Darren Mattocks
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Kris Boyd, Jack Jewsbury, Hanyer Mosquera, Steven Smith, Kosuke Kimura … VAN: Jay DeMerit, Alain Rochat, Gershon Koffie
Timbers win 3-2 and take the lead in the Cascadia Cup standings race!