MLS Countdown: Timbers seek second helping of revenge

Portland’s stumble out of the gate as defending champion started in San Jose, and on Wednesday it gets another chance to atone at home. Both teams are missing key players away on international duty for the Copa Centenario.

On the second weekend of the season, a 2-1 loss to the Quakes that featured a long-range golazo from Quincy Amarikwa sparked a five-game winless skid that dropped the Timbers into the lower tier of the Western Conference, where they have stayed. Since the skid ended, Portland is 3-3-2 and four points out of sixth place, which is occupied by … San Jose.

Portland beat the Quakes, 3-1, at Providence Park in mid-April but starting May 1 lost three in a row. In its last two games, it has thumped Vancouver, 4-2, and tied Chicago, 1-1.

International duty has called away USA forward Chris Wondolowski, Panama stalwarts Anibal Godoy and Alberto Quintero and Jamaican attacker Simon Dawkins from the Quakes. Portland will be missing Darlington Nagbe (USA) and Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica). The losses for both teams are significant but on this balance of power Portland clearly is the beneficiary.

Without Godoy to secure the middle, San Jose will need sharp games from Fatai Alashe and Co. to keep tabs on Diego Valeri, scorer of Portland’s goal last weekend in Chicago. Valeri and forward Fanendo Adi combined have scored 13 goals.

NEW NEAGLE FACES OLD TEAM. International absences will be a major factor Wednesday when D.C. United hosts Seattle at RFK Stadium, yet one player who is present will command attention.

Tacoma (Wash.) native Lamar Neagle had bounced back and forth between the Sounders and other teams since they joined MLS in 2009. Despite a productive three-season run (21 goals and 5 assists in 93 games), Seattle traded him to D.C. Dec. 7.

United Coach Ben Olsen has given Neagle starts in all 13 games so far this season. He’s scored two goals and three assists and will be especially important with Patrick Nyarkosidelined by a concussion.

“They said it might've worked out where I stayed, but I think career-wise it was best for me to leave,” he had said when it was announced United had sent general allocation money and target allocation money to Seattle. “It's always sad leaving home. After three years playing in Seattle, I think it's time.”

United faces Seattle without USA defender Steve Birnbaum and Costa Rica striker Alvaro Saborio. The Sounders attack will be missing Clint Dempsey (USA) and Nelson Valdez (Paraguay).

Streaks:
UNBEATEN
9 Colorado (6-0-3)
7 Philadelphia (2-0-5)
4 FC Dallas (3-0-1)
4 Columbus (1-0-3)
3 NY Red Bulls (3-0-0)
WINLESS
4 Toronto FC (0-2-2)
3 LA Galaxy (0-1-2)
3 New York City (0-1-2)
3 Seattle (0-3-0)

Week 14:
Wednesday, June 1

7 pm Philadelphia vs. Columbus
8 pm D.C. United vs. Seattle
10:30 pm Portland vs. San Jose
Thursday, June 2
7 pm New York City vs. Real Salt Lake
9 pm FC Dallas vs. Houston
10:30 pm LA Galaxy vs. Sporting KC
All times ET.

MLS Standings:
EASTERN CONFERENCE
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
20 Philadelphia 5-3-5 18/14
19 NY Red Bulls 6-7-1 24/20
19 Montreal 5-4-4 22/20
18 New York City 4-4-6 20/26
16 D.C. United 4-5-4 14/14
16 Toronto FC 4-5-4 14/15
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16 Orlando City 3-3-7 23/11
16 New England 3-4-7 19/25
14 Columbus 3-4-5 16/18
11 Chicago 2-5-5 10/14

WESTERN CONFERENCE
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
28 Colorado 8-2-4 17/10
27 FC Dallas 8-4-3 23/21
21 Vancouver 6-6-3 23/25
20 Real Salt Lake 6-4-2 20/19
20 LA Galaxy 5-2-5 27/16
20 San Jose 5-3-5 16/15
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17 Sporting KC 5-8-2 14/18
16 Portland 4-6-4 22/25
13 Seattle 4-7-1 11/15
12 Houston 3-7-3 19/21

Leading Scorers:
G PLAYER (TEAM)
9 David Villa (New York City)
8 Bradley Wright-Phillips (NY Red Bulls)
8
Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)
8 Fanendo Adi (Portland)
8 Ignacio Piatti (Montreal)
7 Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)
7 Cyle Larin (Orlando City)
6 Kevin Molino (Orlando City)
6 Pedro Morales (Vancouver)
6 Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC)
6 Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy)

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