Sun, 26 Sep 2021

Timbers chase season sweep vs. Earthquakes

Field Level Media
04 Aug 2021, 11:40 GMT+10

Portland will have history, both short- and long-term, on its side when it squares off against the visiting San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday.

The Timbers have lost two consecutive matches and four of their past six, including a 4-1 road setback to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Friday. It's the third time this season Portland has dropped consecutive matches. The Timbers haven't lost three straight since a five-match losing streak from March 10-April 13, 2019.

"We needed to be much better," Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said after the Galaxy loss. "There's no excuse. We had a full team. We played very well for 30 minutes and then we disappear. We didn't give the game what we needed, and we lost against a team that I felt we should have gotten points against."

Two of the four goals Los Angeles scored against Timbers came on set pieces. Portland has let in a league-leading 13 set-piece goals this season, accounting for half of the 26 goals the club has allowed.

Portland (6-8-1, 19 points) defeated San Jose 2-0 on the road on May 15 in the first meeting of the year between the teams.

The Timbers own an eight-game home winning streak vs. the Quakes, level with the Philadelphia Union's run against D.C. United for the league's longest active stretch. Another Portland win Wednesday would snap the club record for the longest home winning streak vs. an opponent, topping an eight-game stretch against the Colorado Rapids from 2012-18.

San Jose (4-7-5, 17 points) heads into Portland after Cristian Espinoza's goal produced a 1-0 road win over the Seattle Sounders on Saturday. The result allowed the Earthquakes to extend their unbeaten streak to five games, 1-0-4.

San Jose earned its first victory since May 7, snapping an 11-game winless run (0-6-5).

"When the team was losing so many games in a row, there were matches in which they played well," Earthquakes coach Matias Almeyda said after the Saturday win. "It's a big joy because we deserved the victory considering the quality of the opponent. We believe in hard work, humility and desire. When you believe in your work and virtue, sooner or later the sun will shine."

The Earthquakes will try to complete a rare Seattle-Portland doubleheader sweep. The only time an MLS team earned consecutive road wins over the Sounders and Timbers occurred at the start of the 2013 campaign, when the then-Montreal Impact accomplished the feat.

--Field Level Media

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