Earthquakes 1 – 2 Timbers
The Portland Timbers gave the city of Portland some early fireworks on Tuesday night as they beat the San Jose Earthquake 2-1 at JELD-WEN Field.
Both Danny Mwanga and Jack Jewsbury scored their first goals for Portland this MLS season while a strong defensive effort through the first half and part of the second half gave the Timbers the cushion to win the game.
Here is what to love and hate from the Timbers big win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Tuesday night.
It’s a Win
After suffering such a soul-crushing defeat to the Colorado Rapids 3-0 over the weekend, this win against the Earthquakes helped to establish at least some of the momentum that the Timbers had accumulated after their win against Seattle.
Although they still have to win a game on the road this season, JELD-WEN is proving to be quite the atmosphere for the Timbers.
With a win over the Earthquakes, the Timbers collect three valuable points in the MLS Western Conference and continue to establish themselves as a relevant team that has the ability to play with the best despite their record.
In the Thick of Things
Going along with the win comment above, the Timbers earned three valuable points on Tuesday, giving them 20 points total for the season with plenty of games left to play.
Their 19 points in the MLS Western Conference also puts them more in position to make a run at the end of the season as they now sit just a few places out of the MLS playoff picture with crucial games coming up fast.
Chris Wondolowski Limited
Coming into this game, Chris Wondolowski was one of the hottest players in the MLS and the Timbers really sent a defensive statement to the MLS when they limited his impact on the game.
Not really playing that big of a factor in the game, Wondolowski could have easily been a no show against the Timbers.
If the Timbers are able to play as well against Wondolowski against other offenses, they may just be able to turn their season around.
Franck Song’o down
As was mentioned in one of my recent articles, Franck Songo’o was becoming quite a player for the Timbers as of late.
Earning an assist in the game, Songo’o unfortunately went down and had to be carried off with a stretcher; never a good sign.
As of right now, it is unsure to what extent Songo’o is hurt, but the Timbers will be in much better service if he returns sooner than later as he has contributed a great deal to the young club as of late.
Not Giving a Full 90
Perhaps it is a consequence of them being a fairly young team, but it has seemed as of late that the Timbers don’t really want to finish games. They play excellent soccer for a good 60-70 minutes but then immediately begin to fall-off and play rather unmotivated soccer.
It happened against the Seattle Sounders, and it happened once again last night against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Despite playing great defensive soccer and soccer in general for the first part of the game, the Timbers really gave the Earthquakes plenty of opportunities from the 70th minute on.
Though some of this could be attributed to their two-goal cushion, even after the Earthquakes brought the game within one on a goal by Alan Gordon the Timbers really did not display much passion out on the pitch.
If the Timbers continue this rather lackadaisical play at the ends of games, they will find themselves once again towards the bottom of the MLS.
Lingering Lack of Confidence
If you could not tell, the Timbers Army were not too happy when the sideline referee signaled that there were six minutes of extra time in the game.
While this may be partially a consequence of them wanting to begin celebrating their fourth of July holiday earlier than later, it also plays hint to the amount of confidence people have in this Timbers team around the nation.
Somewhere in the back of their minds, all of the fans in JELD-WEN field and watching the game still knew that San Jose still had a viable chance to equalize the game due to the amount of time added.
There is no doubting the fact that the Timbers season has been up and down, going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.
A result of this roller coaster ride of a season is the attitude from Portland fans and MLS analysts around the nation that reflects a lack of confidence in the team.
Sure, they may have beat Seattle 2-1, but they fell 3-0 to Colorado just a few days later. The same effect occurs after a win over the MLS Western Conference leading San Jose Earthquakes.
Though it is a big win for the Timbers in a rather down season, fans still leave this game feeling lost as to what to really make of it. Should they exclaim to the world that their team is the best? Should they boast about their glorious victory?
Many Portland Timber fans around the nation are finding it hard to really walk away from this win confidently, for the sole reason that their team has lost so many games to average teams and disestablished momentum they had previously built up.
If the Timbers want their fans to be confident in them as a team, they will need to put together a streak of good games that result in wins or draws, something that should also propel them into MLS relevancy once more.
NWSB Timbers Video
Courtesy PortlandTimbers.com Video Channel