Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Cascadia Cup action resumes on Saturday as
the in-form Portland Timbers head to BC Place to take on Vancouver Whitecaps
Saturday's tilt in Vancouver will mark the second Cascadia Cup match of the
season after Portland and Seattle Sounders FC played to a 1-1 draw at
CenturyLink Field on March 16, a result that helped the Timbers get off to a
strong start as it hopes to retain its trophy of regional dominance.
The Cascadia Cup was all Portland had to celebrate last term as the club
finished second from bottom in the Western Conference with 34 points for the
But the new campaign has been quite rosy. Under the guidance of Caleb Porter,
the Timbers have lost just once so far, accumulating 18 points through 11
matches to occupy second place in the West.
Portland has pieced together an MLS-franchise-best nine-match unbeaten run,
but Porter stressed that his side will be overconfident.
"We're not where we want to be yet, which is what makes it scary, we can be
even better," Porter the club's official website. "But this team is very
grounded. As much as (MLSsoccer.com) tries to create headlines that make us
cocky, we're not a cocky team. I'm not a cocky coach. I'm very humble, my
players are very humble, we don't get too high or low, we don't talk trash."
The turnaround in the Rose City from last term to the present can be
attributed to the change in culture initiated by Porter.
"What you see out of these guys is they're very hungry, they understand the
purpose of what we're trying to do and they see the light at the end of the
tunnel, which is obviously making the playoffs," he continued. "That's our
goal, but they're also not forgetting about the little minor steps we have to
take in every games."
Vancouver's form this season has not been quite as formidable as Portland's.
The 'Caps opened the season with two straight victories only to follow it up
with a seven-game winless run.
But Martin Rennie's side got back in the win column last weekend with a 3-1
statement victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Russell Teibert bagged a brace in Vancouver's conquest to steal the headlines,
but Darren Mattocks made a welcomed return to the scoresheet by nabbing just
his second goal of the campaign.
"It was important for him," Nigel Reo-Coker told reporters at BC Place
following Saturday's contest. "It's always important for strikers to score,
especially after they go through a bit of a goal drought. ... I told Darren
you've got to keep going, for 90 minutes you've got to keep going, your chance
will come and you've got to take your chance.
"He took his chance and now hopefully that'll give him confidence he can get
on a bit of a run now and get the momentum and the belief."
Even though the 'Caps have enjoyed eight different players making it to the
scoresheet this season, seeing Mattocks find the back of the net on a
consistent basis would do wonders for the club's playoff hopes.
The Sports Network