Sounders Insider

Sounders focus on Saturday derby at Portland

portland_100A few notes from the club in advance of their Saturday match at Portland:

All-Time Record against PortlandThe rivalry between Seattle and Portland soccer teams dates back nearly four decades when the Sounders and Timbers first met in the NASL in 1975. The sides went on to battle each other in the WSL, USL and U.S. Open Cup before reuniting in Major League Soccer in 2011. Seattle holds the all-time series lead with 42 wins, 31 losses and 11 draws in 84 all-time matches.

All-Time Series RecordYear: Competition - Record1975-82: NASL - Sounders 13 wins; Timbers 8 wins1985-90: WSL - FC Seattle 5 wins; FC Portland/Timbers 6 wins; 2 draws2001-08: USL-1 - Sounders 20 wins; Timbers 13 wins; 5 draws2009-10: U.S. Open Cup - Sounders FC 1 win; Timbers 0 wins; 1 draw2011-12: MLS - Sounders FC 3 wins; Timbers 4 wins; 3 drawsTotals: 84 matches played; Seattle 42 wins; Portland 31 wins; 11 draws

Series NotesSounders FC holds the advantage in MLS regular-season play at 3-2-3, outscoring Portland 11-8. The two rivals also met in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs with the Timbers winning twice to oust Seattle from the Western Conference Semifinals. Sounders FC is 1-3-1 at Providence Park (including playoffs), earning its lone win in its first visit on July 10, 2011. In the last meeting in Portland on November 7, 2013, Sounders FC scored twice but lost, 3-2, falling 5-3 in the two-leg, aggregate-goal series. The teams also met in the 2014 preseason in Tucson, Ariz., battling to a scoreless draw on February 8.

* Seattle has scored eight of its 11 all-time goals against Portland in the first half.

* Portland has scored three times in the final 15 minutes, with five of its eight all-time goals scored in the final half hour.

* In its last regular-season visit to Portland, Sounders FC was held scoreless for the first time in the series. Seattle has scored in nine of the 10 all-time meetings, including playoffs.

* Seattle's 1-0 home win on August 25, 2013, was played in front of 67,385 - the largest-ever for a soccer game in Seattle and second-largest attendance in MLS history for a standalone match.

* Seattle twice knocked Portland out of the U.S. Open Cup Third Round: 2-1 at PGE Park on July 1, 2009, and 4-3 in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw at PGE Park on June 30, 2010.

About PortlandThe Portland Timbers are off to their slowest start in MLS history, securing two points through the opening four games. A year ago, the Timbers recorded three draws and a loss in their first four games, then won twice in a row and did not lose again until June. Portland started the 2014 campaign with home draws against Philadelphia and Chicago, and has lost the past two matches on the road to Colorado and Dallas. The Timbers have scored three times (including one own goal received) this season with no assists and have allowed six goals, including three following penalty attempts.

Timbers Notables The Timbers attack is led by 2013 MLS Newcomer of the Year Diego Valeri, who totaled 10 goals and 13 assists last season. He has started all four games this season and is still searching for his first points. Valeri is joined by a trio of forwards in Argentine strikers Maximiliano Urruti and Gaston Fernandez, and Darlington Nagbe. In his first year in MLS, Fernandez has scored twice in his first four games. Nagbe hopes to recapture the success of his 2013 season when he recorded career highs with nine goals and four assists. The midfield group also features Will Johnson and Diego Chara, and Argentine newcomer Norberto Paparatto has started three games on the backline.

Familiar Face in GoalWith Portland's staring goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts serving a two-game suspension, former Sounders FC netminder Andrew Weber has assumed the starting spot. Weber replaced Ricketts in the 72nd minute at Colorado (3/22/14), allowing one penalty goal while saving a second, which was converted on the rebound. Weber played the full 90 minutes last Saturday at FC Dallas, allowing two goals, including the 84-minute game-winner. Over 108 minutes of action this season, Weber has allowed four goals for a 3.33 goals against average, making four saves.

Weber played six games for Sounders FC during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, allowing seven goals in 450 minutes of action. In his seven-year MLS career, Weber has made eight starts in 10 appearances, allowing 14 goals for a 1.71 goals against average. He holds a record of 2-4-3 and is searching for his first career shutout.

Player Availability this SaturdayBoth Seattle and Portland will have changes to their player availability for Saturday's rivalry game. Sounders FC will be without defender Djimi Traore, who will serve a one-game suspension following his red card ejection last Saturday against Columbus. In the midfield, U.S. National Team captain Clint Dempsey will be eligible for selection after serving a two-game suspension and Brad Evans may be available after missing the past two games with a calf contusion.

For Portland, goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts will serve the second of a two-game suspension. ... Forward Darlington Nagbe left Saturday's match at halftime with an injury and midfielder Steve Zakuani missed the match due to injury. Rodney Wallace remains out while recovering from ACL surgery.

SEA-POR ConnectionsKenny Cooper played the 2011 season with the Portland Timbers, scoring eight goals with two assists in 34 matches. DeAndre Yedlin (2011-12) played for Timbers Head Coach Caleb Porter at Akron. Portland's Darlington Nagbe (2008-10), Michael Nanchoff (2007-10), Steve Zakuani (2007-08) and Ben Zemanski (2006-09) attended Akron as well. Zakuani spent the previous five seasons with Sounders FC after he was selected with the top overall pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. Zakuani scored 17 goals with 14 assists in 80 career appearances for Seattle. Portland selected former University of Washington defender Taylor Peay with the 26th overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.

Portland's Providence ParkDespite draws in the opening two home games of the 2014 season, the Timbers have been one of the top home teams in MLS over the past three seasons. Portland has posted an all-time home record of 27-10-16, outscoring opponents 85-56. The Timbers were the top home team in MLS in 2013 with a record of 11-1-5. With a 51-game sellout streak, Portland averaged a crowd of 20,674 last season (third in MLS).