A road win still eludes the Portland Timbers, but Saturday's 2-2 draw against Real Salt Lake wasn't for lack of trying, and, if you're Caleb Porter, doing.
"We leave this locker room feeling like we deserved better," Porter said. "But it's still a good point and I was pleased with the performance today."
After surrendering an early goal with no one marking Burrito Martinez at the back post on a corner kick, the Timbers found a goal from Fanendo Adi on a quick counter attack in the RSL half of the field in the 29th minute. Before the half, Lucas Melano found a rebound off the post for a putback that gave Portland a 2-1 advantage heading to the locker room.
After a penalty kick in the 70th minute which tied the game 2-2, sub Darren Mattocks ran onto a ball and beat Nick Rimando to the far post for a would-be game-winner. Darren Mattocks was whistled for offside, but Porter disagreed.
"For sure Mattocks was on side," Porter said. "(Chris)Wingert held him on so we should have won the game."
Porter was less worried about the 50-50 penalty on Yura Movsisyan that led to the equalizer in the 70th minute.
Settling for the road point didn't feel as bad as it could in other circumstances for Portland. The Timbers are now unbeaten in five games and have scored in 19 straight games dating back to last year.
"Overall, I liked the energy of our team today," Porter said. "I liked that we came here with a positive approach. We had a lot of the ball and we created chances. For me, we're going to take the point and look at it as a positive, but the reality is we should have had three."
Portland and RSL have played two spirited games this season, both ending in 2-2 draws. Even with the fouls and cards that tend to accumulate the two sides make for entertaining soccer.
"It's more the matchup," Porter said. "There are certain teams we match up well against. Typically, it's the teams that like to play football."