For the Portland Timbers, the start of the 2016 season has been anything but easy.
Since opening the season with a 2-1 home win over Columbus Crew SC in a rematch of last year's MLS Cup Final, the defending champions have found themselves trailing by two goals in each of their three matches since.
However, despite Sunday's 4-1 loss to Kaká and Orlando City, the Timbers' 1-2-1 start is their best through four games under Caleb Porter. Traditionally late bloomers, Porter's club were winless through their first five games last season before surging up the table and into third place in the Western Conference to reach the playoffs.
Speaking to the press after training on Wednesday, Porter continued to be confident that the Timbers will work their way out of their current spot in the standings, tied for eighth place.
“We have been in this position before,” Porter said. “Everybody in the league is in this position in some point in the season. We have been a team that has worked ourselves out of these positions, and this will be no different. A couple of results can change things quickly, and we have an opportunity next week -- playing three games in seven days -- to change our position on the table. That is the mindset right now.”
The Timbers will travel to California to face the LA Galaxy this Sunday (9:30 pm ET, FS1) before returning home to host FC Dallas on Wednesday and the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday. The opportunity to bounce back from adversity is one the Timbers have traditionally seized, and Nigerian national team forward Fanendo Adi, who received his first call-up to the Super Eagles over last weekend's international dates, was quick to point to the team's confidence.
“Three games in seven days is a lot, but we have got a good team, a deep team,” Adi said. “A lot of guys will be given an opportunity to step up. We are looking forward to it, but we will take each game as it comes.”