There’s nothing like a Cascadia derby!
Vancouver Whitecaps FC (5W-3L-1D) will be hoping to celebrate the occasion with three points on Saturday night, when they visit Portland Timbers (2W-3L-3D) at Providence Park.
Match Day: Saturday, May 2
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. PT
Venue: Providence Park, Portland
Radio: TSN 1410
The ‘Caps enter Saturday’s contest atop the MLS table with a 5W-3L-1D record.
Most recently, Whitecaps FC fell 2-1 to D.C. United last weekend at BC Place after Matias Laba was sent off just before halftime. As a result, the Argentinean midfielder will miss Saturday’s match due to suspension, which could open the door for Gershon Koffie or Deybi Flores – depending on which formation Carl Robinson decides to roll out.
Saturday’s match kicks off a busy month of May for the Blue and White, who will play a total of seven matches including two Amway Canadian Championship fixtures.
It’s been a challenging start to the season for Portland, who have racked up just nine points through their first eight matches. Their most recent result was a 1-0 road loss to Seattle Sounders FC.
But the Timbers could get a big boost this weekend with the possible return of key midfielders Will Johnson and Diego Valeri. Neither player has appeared in an MLS match this season due to injuries, though Johnson played just over an hour last weekend with Timbers 2 to increase his match fitness.
Other players to watch include striker Fanendo Adi, who leads the team with three goals, and midfielder Darlington Nagbe, who has been playing as an attacking midfielder in Valeri’s absence. Right back Alvas Powell, who’s tied with Laba for the league lead in tackles (41), always seems to bring his game against the ‘Caps as well.
This will be the second of three meetings between the ‘Caps and Timbers this season. In their first meeting back on March 28, Whitecaps FC came away with a 2-1 win on the strength of a 90th-minute Robert Earnshaw winner.
Vancouver’s all-time MLS record against Portland is now 2W-6L-4D.
Before joining Whitecaps FC, striker Darren Mattocks played under Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter at the University of Akron. In fact, Porter scouted Mattocks back when he was playing in Jamaica.