By MIKE DONOVAN
It had been a long time between home wins for the Portland Timbers. In fact, before Portland’ 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, it had been 218 calendar days since the club’s last victory at Jeld-Wen Field.
The win wasn’t only Portland’s first at home since August of 2012, but also Caleb Porter’s first win as a professional head coach. Getting over the victory hump has provided validation for the changes that have been made since training camp began.
“We got three points, they earned it, they deserved it, I think its a culmination of not only the work they did that week in training but the entire season,” Porter said. “But we knew we were capable of more and we were looking for that breakthrough and we got it.”
Moving ahead, the Timbers are coming into back-to-back games against the San Jose Earthquakes. Portland has been able to go toe-toe-toe with the Earthquakes since the club’s move to MLS. In fact, Portland was the only Western Conference team that San Jose was unable to beat last season
“Ideally you want to be playing well and getting points and I thought we did that on the day so that leaves us with a good feeling going into this week,” Porter said. “And yet we have a very difficult opponent coming here in san jose, they were the supporters shield winners last year and its going to be a tough game. So we have to do it, game after game after game, we can’t just do it one game.”
Here are some more notes to catch you up on all things Portland:
HORST OUT, MOSQUERA LEAVING?
David Horst, who was injured early in Saturday’s game after making a challenge, underwent surgery Monday to repair a displaced tibial plateau fracture in his right leg. It could be a long way back for Horst as the team expects him to be out for at least six months.
Horst was making just his second start of the season after injuring his hip in preseason camp. This is also the second major injury for Horst since joining the Timbers in the MLS expansion draft. Horst missed the first three months of the 2012 season with a torn labrum in his hip.
Another center back who appears to be on the way out is Hanyer Mosquera. Mosquera has not been with the club since March 18, when he returned to Colombia for “personal reasons.” With Horst out, one might expect Mosquera to return to Portland, but his time with the Timbers has likely drawn to a close.
From Colombia, Mosquera has tweeted that he is ready for a “new challenge” in his career, while Colombian-based soccer journalist Chavi Delgado has reported that Mosquera’s contract with the Timbers has been terminated.
The losses of Horst and Mosquera leave the Timbers with little depth behind Mikael Silvestre and Andrew Jean-Baptiste. Rookie Dylan Tucker-Gagnes played well in the preseason, but is still yet to make his regular season debut.
Gambian International Futty Danso, who is the longest-tenured Timber having joined the club at the beginning of the 2009 USL season, has struggled to make his presence known since Porter’s arrival. In fact, Danso has yet to be included in the gameday actives roster this season.
While Andrew Jean-Baptiste and Mikael Silvestre are the obvious starters at the back, an injury to either one might put the club in a precarious position.