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'Caps, Timbers square off in Cascadia Cup tilt

Portland, OR (Sports Network) - As if the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC needed any extra motivation in a Cascadia Cup clash, the two sides will look to stop their downward trends when they meet at Jeld-Wen Field on Saturday.

Vancouver is coming off of a disappointing Cascadia Cup defeat, falling to Seattle Sounders FC, 2-0, at CenturyLink Field last week.

With three losses in its last four league games, Vancouver has fallen off the pace of the first-place San Jose Earthquakes and is in danger of missing out on the playoffs for a second consecutive season in Major League Soccer. The club sits fifth in the Western Conference on 37 points, five points clear of surging FC Dallas.

"It's always disappointing to lose," said Vancouver coach Martin Rennie. "It hurts, especially with the fans making the trip down here, but I thought it was a good game between two very good teams and a rivalry that can grow and become very strong in the league. We're just disappointed that tonight we didn't come out better from it."

The Whitecaps failed to record a shot on goal in the loss at Seattle, but Rennie chose to focus on who was missing from his first-choice squad.

"I think for us right now we've got a little bit of adversity missing a couple of key players and players that have come in aren't really match fit yet," said the Vancouver boss. "Now Andy O'Brien got ninety minutes and Kenny Miller got ninety minutes and that's going to help us going forward."

Portland, meanwhile, will be looking to end its horrid run of form while piling more misery on a fierce rival.

The Timbers, who have not won a league match since July 3, were most recently held to a 3-2 defeat at Red Bull New York. The visitors claimed a two-goal lead but squandered the advantage to come away with nothing.

Timbers interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson was still not shy in praising his team's efforts.

"I think this was possibly our best road performance in a year and a half," said Wilkinson. "We came out, we had numerous chances. Their keeper came up with three phenomenal saves. We had a good chance at the end there."

Portland may have been left waiting for a chance to claim its first road win of the season, but it will look to bounce back and begin its climb out of the Western Conference cellar from the comfort of the Rose City.

"I think we haven't won in a long time," said Timbers midfielder Franck Songo'o. "Every time we're close, we're close, but we don't win. We take every game as a final so it hurts a lot but you got to try to forget this tomorrow and start focusing on next Saturday."

The two clubs have met once at Jeld-Wen already this season, playing to a 1-1 draw on May 26.

08/24 15:00:34 ET