Matchday Preview: Timbers host Western Conference-leading Earthquakes
7:30 p.m. PT (Fox 12 KPTV, Timbers Television Network; 750 AM The Game / La Pantera 940)
- The Rapids opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Right back Hunter Freeman pushed up the flank and found an open Jaime Castrillón in the center of the penalty area for a crisp redirect tap-in from his low cross.
- Five minutes later, Brian Mullan’s pinpoint service found Conor Casey sandwiched between two Timbers defenders, and the Rapids striker found just enough room to head into the roof of the goal.
- Colorado sealed the match in the last minute following substitute Tony Cascio’s run and centering pass for Jamie Smith, who easily tapped in from close range.
- Timbers head coach John Spencer made one change to the side that defeated Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 at JELD-WEN Field. Sal Zizzo came into the midfield for Kalif Alhassan.
- PORTLAND TIMBERS (4-4-2): Troy Perkins - Jack Jewsbury, David Horst, Mamadou Danso, Steven Smith (Rodney Wallace 70) - Sal Zizzo, Darlington Nagbe, Diego Chara, Franck Songo'o (Eric Alexander 38) - Kris Boyd (Danny Mwanga 60), Mike Fucito.
HIGHLIGHTS: COL vs POR
The loss at Colorado left the Timbers as just one of two teams in MLS without a road win this season (0-5-2), joining FC Dallas. For their time in MLS, the Timbers have won just twice in road games.
“We had a great performance last week. I said to them, “you’ve got go out, you’ve got to match it, everybody’s eyes are on us again, saying can you play away from home, can you do this, can you do that,” and we never put [those questions] to bed,” said Timbers head coach John Spencer. “So, as I said, we’ve got a quick turnaround for San Jose, got to focus and try to get the confidence a little bit higher again and get ready to play, and obviously deal with the Salt Lake game on the road again.”
The Timbers have been shut out in four consecutive games away from JELD-WEN Field. Their last road goal came April 14 in a 3-1 loss at the LA Galaxy, now 427 minutes without scoring.
“We’ve been trying to put our finger on it for a while, what exactly it is to get us going. We’ve tried a lot of different things. I think it’s just a matter of us, as a group, coming together and saying hey, it’s not good enough,” said Jack Jewsbury. “We’re a better team than we are playing on the road. It can’t just be at home when the crowd is behind us, and it is easy in that sense. We’ve got to be able to create our own energy on the field whether it’s home or away.”
The Timbers conceded two goals within the opening 22 minutes. They had started the season by conceding first in each of the first four games; Portland is 1-5-1 when the opponents score first.
“I keep saying it time and time again, if you don’t deny service into the box, especially with guys like Conor Casey and Omar Cummings, they’re going to punish you,” said Spencer. “ … If you don’t deny service, players like [Brian] Mullan can serve the ball, and Conor Casey can attack it. You’re going to find yourself in trouble if you give them that much space six yards, seven yards from goal. He’s going to score goals.”
The three goals allowed were the most by the Timbers since April 14, having allowed just six goals in their last eight games.
“We just weren’t denying service. We were allowing them have a lot of time on the ball. Anytime you give professional players the time and the space like that, they’re going to pick guys out,” said goalkeeper Troy Perkins. “We knew coming in that’s what we wanted to do, deny space and deny service, and we didn’t do it. It’s our own fault.”
- Costa Rican international Rodney Wallace was able to make his first appearance since May 20, a span of four matches, coming off the bench for the final 20 minutes.
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
HIGHLIGHTS: SJ vs LA
- Steven Lenhart put the Quakes up in the seventh minute, tapping home the rebound of a Marvin Chávez drive that Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders could only parry with his right hand.
- But the Galaxy were level in the 31st minute after Mike Magee was pulled down some 21 yards from the Quakes goal. A flat-footed Jon Busch could only watch David Beckham’s masterfully struck free kick sail into the upper corner at the near post.
- Five minutes later, Jason Hernandez tried to clear Hector Jimenez's dangerous cross, but instead knocked it past the helpless Busch. Landon Donovan then put the Galaxy in the driver’s seat with his 41st-minute score, a clinical finish from the heart of the box after a tic-tac-toe passing move that came after Hernandez's back pass was intercepted in front of the San Jose goal.
- But the Quakes pulled a goal back just before the half, when Victor Bernárdez made a near-post run to meet a Chávez corner kick from the right, lashing it inside the back post. Two minutes after the restart, Sam Cronin pulled San Jose even, outracing Saunders to a long ball out of the Quakes half and sliding in to touch it home.
- Then in the 61st minute, Chris Wondolowski conjured up the winner, breaking away from his marker and deftly redirecting Ramiro Corrales' flick on from a Chávez corner kick.
- Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop made two changes to the team that got a late goal for a 2-1 win against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Sam Cronin came into the center of midfield for Rafael Baca for Khari Stephenson and Simon Dawkins.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch (David Bingham 46) - Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Justin Morrow - Marvin Chavez (Khari Stephenson 88), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Ramiro Corrales - Steven Lenhart (Alan Gordon 68), Chris Wondolowski.
It was just another remarkable comeback for the Earthquakes against their rivals from the south. On May 23 they came from two goals down over the final quarter-hour to claim a 3-2 win at The Home Depot Center.
“It was a terrific win for our club and another valuable three points for us. The guys really dug in,” said Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop. “For us to be down 3-1 to the defending champions and come back and win was quite amazing. No one was arguing about what went on in the game. The spirit was great throughout the game, it has been there all season and we witnessed it again tonight.”
Victor Bernardez started the comeback with his first MLS goal, after the 30-year-old Honduran international scored for his country vs. El Salvador during the international break.
“Víctor’s goal ... was the biggest moment of the game, without question,” said midfielder Sam Cronin. Added defender Jason Hernandez. “Without that goal, they probably bunker in a bit, having that two-goal lead, and make it really, really difficult for us to break them down, like they have in the past. Coming into halftime, we’re feeling like we have the game in our hands. We can do what we want with the match.”
Chris Wondolowski extended his lead atop the MLS Golden Boot standings with his third goal in the last three games, his 14th of the season. Wondolowski now leads New York’s Kenny Cooper by three.
"This was a statement win for us. They have been playing great soccer as of late and we knew they would come out firing,” said Wondolowski. “We played one sloppy first half, but we tightened up and played a great second half. I don’t want to say we like coming back from two-goal deficits, but if it results in three points, I’ll take it every time.”
Marvín Chavez recorded a pair of assists in the win vs. Galaxy, his second two-assist game this season. His first came in San Jose’s April 28 2-1 win vs. Philadelphia. Chavez also played a part in the opening goal, his blast not held by the goalkeeper before Steven Lenhart tapped in the rebound for an unassisted goal.
After goalkeeper Jon Busch was injured in the first half in a collision, David Bingham came on at halftime and held the Galaxy without a goal.
“There were already five goals scored by the time I came on, so my adrenaline was as high as it’s ever been,” said Bingham. “The defense stepped up and minimized their chances at goal in the second half, and then the offense did their part scoring the equalizer and game-winning goals. I couldn’t have scripted a better ending for tonight.”
The Quakes are now 3-2-3 when trailing at halftime; they own three of the seven victories league-wide for teams down at halftime. They have scored 20 goals in the final half-hour, by far the most in MLS (next is D.C. United with 14).
- “We are a darn good team and I am glad we got a chance to showcase it in front of this crowd and the nation,” said Bingham. “We aren’t the prettiest of team at times, but we have been effective all season long and that has resulted in wins; Goonies never say die.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES – OUT: MF Simon Dawkins (L shoulder sprain); MF Sam Garza (rib fracture); MF Joey Gjertsen (R knee surgery); DF Tim Ward (L non-specific soft tissue injury); DOUBTFUL: DF Ike Opara (L hip flexor strain)
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
POR: Diego Chara (caution accumulation; through July 4); Hanyer Mosquera (through July 4)
SJ: Ramiro Corrales (caution accumulation; through July 4)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS:
POR: Kris Boyd, Lovel Palmer, Jack Jewsbury
SJ: Steven Beitashour, Marvin Chavez, Alan Gordon, Steven Lenhart
- ALL-TIME (2 meetings): Timbers 0 wins, 2 goals … Earthquakes 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 2
- AT PORTLAND (1 meeting): Timbers 0 wins, 2 goals … Earthquakes 0 wins, 2 goals … Ties 2
- RETURN MATCHES: 9/19: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers, 7:30 p.m. PT; 10/27: Portland Timbers vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 3:30 p.m. PT (NBC SN)