"It was a hard fought match on the road ..."
The Portland Timbers suffered their first loss of the year to Seattle on May 5th. The Sounders scored in the 20th minute on a goal by foward Nathan Knox. Under pressure nearly the entire first half, the Timbers adjusted for the second half and was able to find leaks in the Sounder defense but could not convert opportunitites.
Head caoch Gavin Wilkinson on the Timbers' 1-0 loss to Seattle: "Our game in Seattle was a hard fought match. Seattle had the better chances throughout the match, identifying the Sounder's movement up front took longer than I would have liked in the first half, but we were able to make adjustments at halftime.
"Looking back on the match, statistically, both teams had equal chances, the only difference was the Sounders were a little more dangerous offensively in the first half. The second half was faily even.
"The Sounders are a good team at home, they always have been. To go on the road and lose 1-0 was not a bad thing, there are certainly some good things we can take away from this match and use them going forward."
The Timbers face a tough schedule this week with three matches in five days, starting with Mexico's Club Necaxa in an exhibition match at PGE Park on May 9. The international friendly is followed by two games over the weekend against Seattle and the Rochester Raging Rhinos.
"Necaxa's squad is full of technically gifted players. We'll need to be organized up the middle of the field and try to expose their weaknesses. We'll need to take care of the ball and not chase it around the park. Necaxa will be a good test for us.
"We'll need to go into our two USL First Division games this weekend with confidence. Even though we are the home side, we need to approach these games mentaly as the underdog. Last year we finished at the bottom of the table, and we need to earn the respect of opposing players, managers and organizations. Teams still have in their minds that we're an automatic result and we will change that. We'll continue to work hard and grind out results."
"We have two tough league games at home this weekend. If we continue to work hard, fight for the loose ball and knock down balls in the air, with our great fan support at home, we will have the opportunity to do well this weekend."
The Timbers schedule this week:
Wednesday, May 9 vs. Club Necaxa presented by Tecates, PGE Park, 7 p.m.
Friday, May 11 vs. Seattle Sounders, PGE Park, 8 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)
Sunday, May 13 vs. Rochester Raging Rhinos, PGE Park, 6 p.m.