Portland return home for a midweek matchup with San Jose Earthquakes. It is the first of two-straight home matches. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm PT from Providence Park.
Red-hot and rolling, the Portland Timbers are back home following a successful trip to the Texan capital – a 2-1 win over Austin FC – and welcome the first of back-to-back home matches on Wednesday. Western Conference rivals San Jose Earthquakes are the midweek visitors before a showdown with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
Portland (9th, 9-11-9, 36pts) and San Jose (7th, 10-10-9, 40pts) meet for the second time in the regular season. Having battled to a 0-0 draw back on June 17 in the Bay Area, the clash now comes to the Pacific Northwest.
On Alert for Earthquakes
The Timbers are undefeated in their last four matches (3-0-1), recording multiple goals in every game. Their opponents Wednesday night are on a recovery effort, having gone undefeated in their last three games (1-0-2) following a mixed restart to their season post-Leagues Cup (1-2-0). The Quakes will want to feed-off of the momentum from their win over Real Salt Lake last weekend to secure a positive result in order to stay in the postseason-zone with five matches remaining. Forward Cristian Espinoza leads San Jose in scoring with 12 goals and seven assists and is a player to keep an eye on Wednesday night.
[Updated] Playoffs Outlook
Five games left – 15 possible points for Portland to further cement themselves in the postseason party.
The Timbers bagged all three points at Austin over the weekend and put themselves above the playoff line, just one point shy from 10th place Sporting KC. A win over the Quakes could see Portland vault one more spot up the standings should Minnesota United fail to gain a result against the LA Galaxy.
Although above the line for now, Portland should still be wary of a lurking FC Dallas who are just one-point shy of the Timbers with two games in-hand. A result in Wednesday's matchup with San Jose could provide Portland with a much-needed cushion in the Western Conference playoffs zone:
Here are the matchups to watch during the midweek action that could further shake-up the standings:
Wed. September 20
Minnesota at Los Angeles Galaxy
Kansas City vs Nashville
Salt Lake vs FC Dallas
Notes and stats to know ahead of the battle with San Jose:
Providence Park has been the safest place to be when the Earthquakes strike Portland – at least since September of 2011. In nearly 12 years, the Timbers have suffered zero defeats at home in the regular season against their Bay Area rivals, amassing an incredible 12-0-4 (+20 GD) record. In fact, Wednesday's matchup will take place on the eve of the two clubs' first meeting at Providence Park 12 years ago.
As a club, the Timbers have turned up the heat in the fight for one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference. Two players that have been on-fire are forward Felipe Mora and midfielder Evander, both whom have played a big role in the team's current four-game undefeated run. The pair have both notched three goals and an assist in the Timbers' last five matches, thats 60% of the club's goals scored over that period.
All-time, the Timbers have scored 52 total goals against the Earthquakes. Of the 52 tallies, 37 have come in the second half, accounting for 71% of Portland's offensive output.
From the Bay Area with love: Castro Valley, California-native David Bingham has been massive for Portland in goal this year, especially against his hometown club. In two matches across all competitions (the regular season match at San Jose on June 17 and Leagues Cup 2023 match in Portland on July 22), Bingham has recorded two shutouts, allowing zero goals.