Match Preview: Timbers vs. Earthquakes
On a three-match unbeaten run, the Portland Timbers play host to the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday at JELD-WEN Field before a national television audience on NBC Sports Network at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific).
Sunday’s contest will also be broadcast live on 750 The Game and in Spanish on La Pantera 940AM.
The Timbers (1-1-3, 6pts) are coming off a 2-0 shutout of the Houston Dynamo on April 6 at JELD-WEN Field. Forward Ryan Johnson registered the first two-goal performance of his MLS career in the win over Houston, and was named MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR). The Timbers recorded their first shutout of the season and held the Dynamo to just two shots on goal – a season-low by a Portland opponent.
Entering the weekend, the Timbers rank second in MLS in goals scored (9), second in assists (8), fifth in shots (72) and lead the league with an average of 513.4 passes per game. Portland’s defense ranks fifth among league leaders in fewest shots allowed (51) and has allowed just two second-half goals this season, the third-fewest in MLS.
The Timbers and Earthquakes (2-2-2, 8pts) open a two-game, home-and-home set Sunday, as the two sides will meet for a consecutive match on Sunday, April 21, at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calf. Portland and San Jose play for a third and final time during the regular season on Saturday, July 27, at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Portland has earned points from all five of its regular-season meetings against San Jose since joining MLS, posting a 1-0-4 record in the all-time MLS series against the Earthquakes. In two meetings at JELD-WEN Field last season, the Timbers defeated the Earthquakes 2-1 on a game-winning goal by Jack Jewsbury on July 3, 2012, and the two clubs played to a 1-1 draw in the regular-season finale Oct. 27, 2012. San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski tallied three goals in three matches against the Timbers last season, including two in a 2-2 draw played at Buck Shaw Stadium on Sept. 19, 2012.
The Earthquakes are coming off a 1-1 draw at home against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on April 6. Wondolowski, the 2012 MLS Golden Boot winner with 27 goals, has tallied three of the club’s five goals this season.