Sounders Insider

Saturday comes: Timbers-Sounders at noon

Actually, I think it's NBCSN coverage at noon, and first kick around 12:25. Below, a few basics:

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (2-2-0; 6 POINTS)AT PORTLAND TIMBERS (0-2-2; 2 POINTS)Noon, Providence Park, Portland.TV: NBCSN. RADIO: 97.3 FM.HEAD TO HEAD: Seattle leads the MLS series, 3-2-3. The Timbers lead 2-1-1 in Portland. The Timbers also eliminated the Sounders in the Western Conference semifinal round last season. The clubs will meet again July 13 in Seattle and Aug. 24 in Portland. NOTES: This is the first match of the 2014 Cascadia Cup, a nine-game, round-robin competition between Seattle, Portland and Vancouver. The Whitecaps are defending champions. … The Timbers are off to their slowest start since joining MLS in 2011. They have lost their last two matches, while Seattle is coming off of a 2-1 home loss to Columbus. … The Timbers are unbeaten (11-0-6) over their last 17 regular season home games. … Portland forward Diego Valeri leads MLS with 15 shots. … Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and Seattle central defender Djimi Traore are out due to disciplinary suspensions. Former Sounder Andrew Weber is expected to start in Ricketts’ place. Timbers midfielder Steve Zakuani, who played the previous five seasons in Seattle, is questionable due to a hamstring injury. Darlington Nagbe is questionable with a leg bruise. … MLS on Friday fined Portland coach Caleb Porter for criticism of officials. … The Timbers are Seattle’s first Western Conference opponent this season. … The referee is Hilario Grajeda.QUOTABLE: “(Diego) Chara and Will Johnson cover as much ground as any midfield in the league. … It allows (Diego) Valeri and now (Gaston) Fernandez and those guys to make their decisions and they don’t necessarily need to come back and defend as much. And obviously Nagbe, when he’s on the field, his pace is something that very few players in our league have. It’s a good combination of different talents.” – Sounders coach Sigi Schmid on the TimbersNEXT: The Sounders’ three-game road trip continues 5:30 p.m. April 12 at FC Dallas.