The Timbers Army unveiled an expansive green and gold tifo ahead of Sunday's Western Conference Championship game. In the center of the display, two words stood out: "Cup Bound." Right now, the Portland Timbers look like a team that is bound for the MLS Cup.
The Portland Timbers’ first foray into the MLS Cup Playoffs couldn’t have been going better. It was just two years ago, in head coach Caleb Porter’s first year at the helm, and they had swept their way past rival Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference Semifinals. A trip to MLS Cup seemed all the more real when just minutes into the opening leg of the conference championship on the road against Real Salt Lake, Portland took the lead in the 14th minute on an emphatic long-distance strike from captain Will Johnson.
Portland Timbers defender Nat Borchers talked about the team's flat start in their 2-0 loss against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday. The Timbers had early chances but gave up two goals in about a two-minute span to end the first half.
Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter has been downright optimistic – if not surprisingly so – as his team suffered through a three-game winless streak coming into their Sunday afternoon showdown with Eastern Conference front-runners New York Red Bulls. His team, despite producing just three goals in those three games, had been proactive in the attack and largely outplayed their opponents when it came to shots and chance creation. They just lacked that finishing touch to produce optimal results.
More than 35 former Portland Timbers players will be honored during halftime of Sunday's game between the Timbers and the New York Red Bulls, according to a Timbers press release. This year is the 40th anniversary of the inception of the Timbers in the North American Soccer League (NASL) and the club's fifth year in Major League Soccer.
The San Jose Earthquakes don’t show up on the Seattle Sounders’ schedule for another couple of weeks, and yet they turned up as an annoying thorn in the side twice recently. At mid-week, the Quakes’ website produced a story calling San Jose’s California Clasico with Los Angeles “the premier rivalry in MLS.”
2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup - Round 4: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers