'Caps, Timbers square off in Cascadia Cup tilt
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Vancouver Whitecaps FC will compete in a Cascadia Cup match for the second consecutive weekend as it heads to Providence Park to face the Portland Timbers on Saturday.
The 'Caps earned a point from a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC last weekend.
They surrendered the lead in the 36th minute but managed to level the score just three minutes later through Erik Hurtado. Gershon Koffie put Vancouver in front in the 66th minute by taking advantage of Stefan Frei's gaffe, but a late penalty from Gonzalo Pineda saw the hosts squander a chance at taking three points.
Designated Player Pedro Morales has been a standout player for Vancouver thus far, even just 10 games into his MLS career.
"He brings a good spirit to the group," 'Caps assistant coach Martyn Pert told MLSsoccer.com. "He's humble. Having a DP that's humble is important. He really feels part of the dressing room and really acts part of the dressing room.
"He's got qualities, and he brings out the qualities in players because he can move the ball quickly. He just does things that you don't see. Maybe as coaches you look and think maybe go there, maybe go there. He does something different and it comes off. He's an exciting player to watch."
Portland will hope to contain Morales, but the club is in good form to do so.
The Timbers are coming off of a win at Chivas USA, a match in which they managed to keep its first clean sheet of the season.
Portland is on a six-game unbeaten run that has seen the club take a total of 12 points. The Timbers have also won two straight, getting a come-from-behind victory over Red Bull New York prior to the defeat of Chivas.
"The plan was all along to play a group in New York, turn around, play pretty much a different group, obviously we overlapped a few guys, which means now we come back to Vancouver with fresh options even though we've just played two games in five days," Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said. "Again, I think this week we showed no matter what we're up against, we've got guys that can step in to do a job. We're looking forward to Vancouver, we know with a win there we can jump them in the table. And with our fans behind us, the boys will be flying."
Fanendo Adi was the star against Chivas, getting both of the goals that led the Timbers to all three points.
"It's an amazing feeling," Adi said. "As a striker you come into the game believing that you can be able to help the team in the way of getting goals and that's just what happened. Not credit just to me but credit to the whole team. Without the guys who kick the ball I couldn't put the ball in the net. It's credit to everyone."
05/30 17:34:16 ET