The Portland Timbers’ hot start is a thing of the distant past. After beginning the season with three emphatic wins, the Timbers are now winless in their last five matches with three losses in that time. They have sunk from the top spot in the Western Conference to fifth place, where they cling to a playoff spot by two points. Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders is just the latest in a growing line of rough results.
The Timbers are frustrated their run of form, and Saturday’s match in Seattle was the culmination of that. They feel they played well enough to win the game, but failed to finish any of their many chances.
“We’re very disappointed to not get anything out of the game,” head coach Caleb Porter said after the game. “The reason we’re disappointed is because we played very well. It was undeniable to me that we were the better team on the day. When you look at every category in terms of chances, in terms of possession and in terms of every metric you want to measure, we were the better team.”
The Timbers did outshoot Seattle 19-8, holding a modest 52 percent advantage in possession, but only three of those 19 shots were on target. That reality didn’t
“How many times does Seattle play a home game and they don’t get 10 shots? That doesn’t happen very often,” Porter said. “How many times has a team come and doubled their shots? I’ll let you guys look it up. I’d like to see the last time it happened.”
To answer Porter’s question, it had been more than two years since an opponent doubled Seattle’s shot tally at CenturyLink Field, with the Dynamo accomplishing the feet on April 4, 2015. Then it was the Houston dynamo outshooting the Sounders 16-5, with 56 percent possession. The Sounders won that game as well.
Porter now has to move on from a game that brought more frustration and anger to the surface. He believes his team played well against the Sounders and he hopes that continues going forward.
“I’m pissed off, the team is pissed off, the players are pissed off, the supporters are pissed off, we’re all pissed off,” Porter said. “But guess what? Now I’ve got to think about as a coach on the bus ride home for three hours is how we’re going to make sure we get points in the next game, and how we’re going to get points is hopefully play exactly the way we played today and make a few more plays.”
The Timbers return home to Providence Park on Friday night to take on the San Jose Earthquakes.