With their 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids at Providence Park on October 16, the Portland Timbers set a new franchise record for home wins in a season with 12. That result bests the previous high of 11 home wins, set during the 2013 season.
Throughout the 2016 MLS regular season, the Timbers were 12-3-2 at Providence Park, racking up several impressive wins along the way, including two victories over Seattle Sounders FC, a resounding 4-2 victory over Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC in May, and a stunning come-from-behind win over the Houston Dynamo.
But few of these results were as comprehensive as the Timbers' 3-0 defeat of Sporting Kansas City at Providence Park in August.
That result came as a bit of surprise after Timbers midfielder Diego Chara was sent off with a red card in only the 12th minute of the match. However, the playing field was leveled when Sporting's Soni Mustivar was also sent off shortly before halftime.
“I think we were able to weather the storm in the first half, so we went into halftime reorganized and it was 10 on 10 at that point,” midfielder Jack Jewsbury said after the match of the attitude in the locker room at halftime. “The game changes at that point. The mentality of when you’re down a man and then all of a sudden it’s even again. We went into halftime and wanted to be on the front foot.”
Still, neither team was able to break a scoreless deadlock until the 65th minute when Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri struck the first blow, hitting a brilliant bouncing ball off the volley and burying it past Sporting goalkeeper Alec Kann.
The Timbers followed up Valeri's opening act with two late goals, one from Jewsbury, the other from forward Fanendo Adi.
The match proved the preeminent example of the Timbers' home advantage, something that even Sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber acknowledged to the media after the game.
Said Feilhaber: “It’s always really fun playing here. The fans are good. They always make it tough on us...Just, you know, not a happy ending for us.”