MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)
08/29/2014 4:59 PM
08/29/2014 5:08 PM
Portland (7-8-10) at Vancouver (7-5-12), 10:30 p.m.
Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Portland Timbers will renew their Cascadia Cup rivalry on Saturday with a vital match at BC Place.
The sides enter the contest separated by just two points in the table with Whitecaps FC holding the fifth and final playoff position ahead of the Timbers.
Vancouver returns home following a 2-0 loss at the LA Galaxy last week, while Portland hit the road coming off a 4-2 home loss against Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders FC last Sunday.
The Whitecaps fell behind after just four minutes as Robbie Keane ran onto a ball bouncing in the heart of the Whitecaps FC penalty area and half-volleyed a shot that bounded through traffic to the far post, where Landon Donovan stepped up to poke it into the ceiling of the net.
Vancouver's deficit was doubled just after the half-hour mark when Donovan sent a ball into the box for Marcelo Sarvas. After a mis-hit from Keane, the ball rolled past two Whitecaps defenders and Sarvas was there to tap it home.
The loss put an end to Vancouver's six-match unbeaten streak, and the club was kept off the score sheet for the third time in four matches.
"We haven't scored in three of the [last] four games and we need to go back to the drawing board. You don't turn into a good team overnight and you don't turn into a bad team overnight, so we just need to get back to work," said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson.
Portland struggled last week against Seattle as the visiting side went ahead after 18 minutes and the Rave Green doubled their lead in the 34th minute with a perfectly-executed counter-attack which resulted in Clint Dempsey's 11th goal of the season.
Chad Barrett made it 3-0 on a 70th-minute blast through Donovan Ricketts� gloves from the left wing on a feed from Dempsey from the center of the box. Fanendo Adi pulled a goal back just three minutes later when he got on the end of a long Rodney Wallace cross and poked it past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
But before the Timbers could settle, Sounders FC found the back of the net again on a bullish run from Martins and authoritative finish past Ricketts. Adi hit for his second in stoppage time, striking home a Steve Zakuani pass in the area, for the final score line.
"For me, what's most disappointing in this game is the score line. We're not used to being in games where we lose 4-2," said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter. "I have to figure out how to correct what happened today so we can get a better result next Saturday.
"It seemed like every chance they got was in the back of the net. We had a ton and somehow couldn't seem find the frame enough. It was a bit of a strange game," Porter added. "I don't think the score is indicative of how the game and flow went, but at the end of the day it comes down to how many you put in the net. They put four in and we didn't do well enough to deserve the result."
Saturday's game will be the second time the clubs have met this season. Last time they faced off, Pedro Morales netted a brace to go with goals from Erik Hurtado and Jordan Harvey to hand Vancouver a thrilling 4-3 win on June 1.
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