PORTLAND, Ore. -- For the Portland Timbers, Wednesday night's 1-1 draw against CD Saprissa feels like a loss.
The Timbers came into the match needing a win to advance out of the CONCACAF Champions League group stage and, with the draw, finished second Saprissa in the final group standings. The failure to best their Costa Rican opponents comes as a heavy blow to the side, who have endured other disappointments in the 2016 season, as they have not won a road game this season and enter the final weekend of the MLS season on the outside looking in for the playoffs.
In his post-match press conference, Timbers head coach Caleb Porter was notably subdued.
"These guys wanted to win this game and I wanted to win this game. Badly," Porter told the press. "I feel bad because I know that our supporters wanted to win this game badly. This is part of this job and a part of this business and sometimes you don't get a result. But if it doesn't hurt then you don't care."
The Timbers have another do-or-die match coming up this weekend as they take on the Vancouver Whitecaps (4 pm ET, MLS LIVE) in their final contest of the 2016 regular season with an Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs berth on the line. Focusing on Sunday’s upcoming match was not easy for Porter so soon after his side washed out of the CCL group stage for the second time since he took over the team in 2013.
"You have to move on," said Porter. "We will move on. We will move on from it and we are still looking forward to being in the playoffs, but I can't think about that right now. I can't think about that right now because I am just very disappointed in this game."
Still, despite not getting the result that they needed, Porter praised the tenacity of his team.
"The positive is that the guys fought their asses off," said Porter. "They played with a lot of heart and passion. That is what you want to see as a coach. Sometimes you fall short and you don't get the result. There is no moral victory in us playing hard and not winning, but from my standpoint, when I am looking them in the eyes in the locker room there is nothing I can say other than, 'you gave everything you had and now we need to move on from it.'"
"But," Porter continued, "we are not going to be able to move on tonight. That is for sure."