Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC will meet up for the second time this season as they continue their Cascadia Cup rivalry at Providence Park on Saturday.
In the first meeting between the sides, Robert Earnshaw came off the bench to score a late winner to lift the Whitecaps to a 2-1 win over the Timbers.
Portland has struggled to put wins together so far and the club is coming off another Cascadia Cup defeat to Seattle, losing 1-0 to the Sounders last time out on a Clint Dempsey goal in the 77th minute.
The result marked the fourth time in eight games this season that Portland has been held without a goal, and head coach Caleb Porter was disappointed that his side was unable to take anything from the match.
"It was a very good defensive performance. I thought we managed the game exceptionally well," Porter said of his team's performance against Seattle. "From the start of the game through the first half and came into the break in a good position which was the goal. We had nearly 50 percent of the possession, which doesn't usually happen here against a team who likes the ball. They didn't have many clear chances and we probably had the better of the chances in the second half, but we leave empty-handed."
The Whitecaps will also be discouraged by losing last time out as the club scored early against D.C. United but sustained a 2-1 defeat.
Pedro Morales scored inside two minutes to put the 'Caps in front, but Bobby Boswell equalized shortly after and Matias Laba was sent off for Vancouver, helping United grab the winner in the second half through Chris Rolfe.
Octavio Rivero set up the goal for Morales and created a few chances for himself against United, and his play going forward could be a big help to the Vancouver attack.
"You want your players to express themselves and that's what Octavio's doing," said head coach Carl Robinson. "I think he had a good chance in the second half. Or one or two half chances that he didn't take. Players will be judged on goals, but what he brings to the table as well is very important."
The Whitecaps have not had a lot of success against Portland in MLS with Vancouver winning just two of 12 meetings between the sides.