A weekly review on the Portland Timbers. The Comings and Goings, the injury report, the matchup stats, plus so much more.
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The Portland Timbers don’t have to be happy about sitting just one spot behind New York for a final playoff spot, but they do have to excited about knowing that they will be facing a rookie goalkeeper making his second career start when they take on the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
Portland trail Philadelphia by two points in the hunt for a postseason berth with eight games left, so a win could leapfrog them into a berth ahead of the Red Bulls.
Portland beat the Union 1-0 back on May 6, 2011, on a header off a free kick by defender Mamadou “Futty” Danso in the 72nd minute.
Winners of three, with one draw and two losses in their last six matches, the Timbers beat Chivas USA their last time out in a match drenched with playoff implications.
Portland overtook Chivas USA for sixth place in the Western Conference standings Wednesday with a 1-0 victory over the Goats at JELD-WEN Field.
International Round Up
Four members of the Timbers squad joined their respective national teams last week for international friendlies, or in some cases, 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Rodney Wallace (Costa Rica), James Marcelin (Haiti) Steve Purdy (El Salvador) and Lovel Palmer (Jamaica).
Marcelin netted a goal for Haiti in a 6-0 World Cup qualifying rout of the U.S. Virgin Islands on Sept. 2. while Wallace scored the game-winning goal in his international debut.
The injury list for the Timbers has not grown in the month of September, but still carries four players who remain listed. Defender Kevin Goldwaite (ruptured Left ACL), forward Bright Dike (ruptured right Achilles), defender David Horst (left hip flexor ), and midfielder Peter Lowry who has been out since June 29 with a strained left quadriceps.
Midfielder Rodney Wallace is still suffering from a left knee injury, but is expected to see action on Saturday.
Trades and Rumors
Second-year midfielder Eric Alexander has recorded just 19-miutes in one match played since being acquired in an August 19 trade that sent defender Jeremy Hall to FC Dallas. Alexander played 39 games for Dallas since being drafted in the third round (44th overall).
The 23-year old scored two goals and assisted on three others during his first full season in MLS, but had yet to find the back of the net in 2011.
Timbers in the Community
Community Ambassador Scot Thompson, defender “Futty” Danso, and Timber Joey joined members of the Timbers’ front office and Schoolhouse Supplies to distribute 500 donated backpacks filled with a full set of notebooks, packs of pencils and pens, erasers, rulers, glue sticks and folders to Portland Public Schools students earlier this week.