PORTLAND, Ore. – If there’s one good thing coming out of the Portland Timbers’ 3-0 loss this past Saturday to the Colorado Rapids, it’s the fact that there’s not much time to dwell on it.
Portland are right back to work with a match on Tuesday at JELD-WEN Field against MLS’ top team in the San Jose Earthquakes (10:30 pm ET; watch LIVE online).
“We just need to forget about that game,” said midfielder Sal Zizzo, who earned his first start of the season against the Rapids. “It wasn’t good at all from any of us, including myself. We have a game [Tuesday], which is a good thing. We just need to turn around and play well.”
The fact that the Timbers were more than eager to put Saturday’s performance behind them is no surprise.
The stats weren’t pretty. Portland managed just two shots on goal with a paltry 40 percent possession rate in what could easily be described as the team’s worst performance of the year.
Surprising, considering it came on the heels of the franchise’s signature victory the previous week, a 2-1 win over bitter rivals Seattle.
“I don’t think anything really went right,” Zizzo said. “We just have to kind of throw that game out of the window and focus on [San Jose]. We’ve played well at home, and we want to keep that momentum going.”
Timbers assistant coach Amos Magee echoed Zizzo’s sentiment that moving on is the best thing for the team. With a result against the Quakes, the team leading the Supporters’ Shield standings with 36 points from 17 games, the pain of the Colorado loss should subside a bit.
“What we can do now is come back and again get on the right foot and see whether we can’t take that into the weekend,” he said. “But first things first, we have to come back and play really, really well against San Jose. Top team in the league, right now in the lead for the Supporters’ Shield, so it’s going to be no easy task. But we certainly feed off the energy here and seem to do well here and we’re going to have to do that tomorrow night.”
Magee said San Jose has been able to accomplish what has eluded Portland this season: keeping momentum. He said a perfect opportunity to do that with the Seattle win was squandered.
Now, the Timbers will be tasked with stopping what looks like an irresistible force in blue.
“They’re playing with a lot of self belief and feel the game is never out of their hands and they sort of feed off of that,” he said. “The best thing we can do well is play well from the opening whistle.”
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.