Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers
August 25, 2013, 7 pm PT; CenturyLink Field
TV/Radio: ESPN2; KIRO 97.3 FM
Portland’s Record: Entering play on Saturday, Portland sits third in the Western Conference at 9-3-12 (39 points), going 2-2-8 on the road.
All-time Series: In a rivalry that dates back to 1975 in the North American Soccer League, Seattle owns a 41-28-11 edge. In MLS, Sounders FC leads at 2-1-3 while outscoring the Timbers 10-7.
Injury Report: Sounders FC – OUT: GK Josh Ford (R patella fracture); M Philip Lund (R plantar fasciitis) M Steve Zakuani (athletic pubalgia). QUESTIONABLE: M Alex Caskey (R ankle impingement); F Obafemi Martins (L ankle sprain); D Djimi Traore (L ankle sprain). Timbers – OUT: D Mamadou Danso (L foot injury); F Bright Dike (ACL surgery); D David Horst (R tibia plateau surgery); F Brent Richards (ACL surgery); D Mikael Silvestre (ACL surgery); D Dylan Tucker-Gangnes (concussion). QUESTIONABLE: M Jack Jewsbury (L ankle); M Will Johnson (scapular contusion); F Frederic Piquionne (L ankle sprain).
Key player: Midfielder Diego Valeri has been an absolute difference-maker for the Timbers since joining during the preseason. From the attacking midfield slot in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Valeri has five goals and 11 assists. He has been uncanny in his playmaking role, helping turn around a team that finished 8-16-10 just a year ago.
Notes: Over 66,500 fans are expected at the match, which will feature expanded bleacher seating and standing room only tickets for the first time in club history. … Seattle forward Eddie Johnson has three goals in four matches against the Timbers, including one in the prior meeting this season, a 1-1 draw at CenturyLink Field on March 16. … Sounders FC is unbeaten in nine all-time matches played in front of crowds of over 40,000 at 7-0-2. … Seattle is on a club record nine-match home unbeaten streak dating back to March 3. The club has a 6-0-3 record in that stretch. … Sounders FC is second in the league in goals per game at home with 20 goals in 10 home matches. … Portland midfielder Diego Chara will miss the match while serving a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation. … Beginning at 2 pm at Fuel, the Emerald City Supporters will host the traditional Brougham Block Party. The 21+ event will feature a large beer garden, food and a full bar. Sounders FC broadcast analyst Kasey Keller will also be on hand serving drinks from 4-4:45. For more information, visit www.weareecs.com.