The Timbers defeated San Jose!
San Jose’s plan was to defend and counter attack, and despite being out shot 23-7, out possessed 61%-39%, and out passed 463-296, the Quakes held Portland off the scoreboard. They even withstood two Portland goals disallowed because of offside players. Deep into second half stoppage time, Jack Jewsbury came to the rescue. Again.
What does it mean?
Portland has now won six of their last seven and is officially the hottest team in MLS.
The win bumps the Timbers up to third place in a densely-packed Western Conference. How tight is it? Portland is one point from the top, and four points from 6th, the final playoff spot.
Fun fact: Last week’s opponent, San Jose, are in 7th place in the West. If they played in the East, their point total (25) would be good enough for 2nd!
At Philadelphia Union, PPL Park, Chester, PA; Saturday, 4pm (Pacific) on Root Sports. The Union are in 8th place in the East with 19 points. The Timbers have 31.
Water Cooler Stat: The Timbers and Union have scored the same number of goals (22) but are light years apart in terms of success. Why? Defense. While Portland has conceded 20 goals, offset by 22 goals scored (a differential of +2), Philly have conceded a staggering 32, most in the league—six more than the next—and sport an unhealthy -10 differential.
Opposing player to watch: Zach Pfeffer. The local boy was raised 30 miles from PPL Park and came up through both the Union and United States youth programs. He is Philly’s first ever “home-grown” player. Both of his goals this season have come in Union wins. Just watch out for his temper.
Timber to watch: Diego Valeri. El Maestro played his first full-90 minutes last week and was dangerous all game. His free kick contributed to Portland’s game-winning goal. Valeri is getting stronger with every match, and should feast on Philly’s weak defense.