After bagging first goal, Liam Ridgewell hopes Timbers can turn the corner

PORTLAND, Ore — Following Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Atlanta United, the Portland Timbers have failed to find a win in their last three matches, ending the weekend in fourth place in the Western Conference after pacing the West to start the season.

For Timbers head coach Caleb Porter, only coming away with a draw was a letdown as the Timbers continue through one of their toughest stretches of the 2017 season.

“We are disappointed not to get the three,” Porter said after the match. “We will take the point, but we are not satisfied with that at all.”

After giving up the opening goal to Atlanta early in the second half, the Timbers were quick to respond, scoring the equalizer just four minutes later and going on to create a number of chances in the second half. It is that sort of effort that Porter and the Timbers will be looking for going forward.

“I thought we left it on the field, I thought we gave it everything we had, and I thought we were going to get the goal to win the game,” Porter said. “Obviously, we pulled one goal back and there were a couple of bounces that could have gone different: the post and a couple of other times when the ball is in the box when we don’t quite get the half-chance.”

Timbers captain and goalscorer Liam Ridgewell took pride in helping to spur the Timbers forward after conceding the opener.

“I was glad to get the goal and drag us back into the game,” said Ridgewell, who scored his first goal of the season. “Obviously I am sad that we couldn’t get the second one to win the game, but it was a hard-fought draw.”

Like Porter, Ridgewell was disappointed with the Timbers’ slow start to the second half.

“We came out very sloppy,” Ridgewell said. “It was annoying. We pride ourselves on coming out well and getting the crowd behind us, but we didn’t seem to do that.”

Nevertheless, the Timbers defender was encouraged with the partnership he formed in the back with Roy Miller, who had been filling in for Ridgewell earlier in the season and played alongside him for the first time.

“I think we defended very well,” Ridgewell said. “[Atlanta] is a very good side. They pass the ball a lot, they keep the ball a lot as they show in their possession and I thought Roy coming in did very well. We’ve got a very good squad this year, which obviously is good. We need the depth. Whoever comes in and plays, obviously plays very well, and Roy did that today.”