PORTLAND, Ore – The Portland Timbers are riddled with injuries, hampered by international call-ups, and heading into the Gold Cup break riding a five-game winless streak following Wednesday’s 2-2 draw against the Chicago Fire.
Despite all that, the Timbers go into their upcoming week off on a high.
Head coach Caleb Porter came out swinging in his post-game press conference: “It was a great performance from start to finish for every single guy. It was domination against a team that is at the top of the table. Complete domination.”
Porter was unequivocal as he addressed the press – despite the result, the Portland Timbers are playing their best soccer of the year.
“You are never satisfied unless you get three [points],” Porter said, “but if you have been around this sport you know that sometimes you don’t get three points. But for me, [today’s performance]: that is the bar. It was our best performance of the year on both sides of the ball. It is crazy that in this sport you can have 24 shots to 6 and not get out of here with three points.”
The Timbers did finish the match with gaudy numbers on the stat sheet. Beyond just outshooting their opponents, the Timbers out-possessed them, holding the ball for 60.5 percent of the match, and out-passed them, attempting 517 passes to the Fire’s 348.
“I will take that performance every day of the week,” said Porter after breaking down some of the ways that his side’s performance was reflected in the numbers.
Of course, the Timbers are no strangers to paying for dropped points, missing out on a playoff berth by just two points in 2016 and one in 2014.
But it is not just the Timbers’ current level that has Porter looking upward, it is their trajectory.
“We are getting better every single game and today we showed everything that I want this team to represent. It is how I wanted to play: keep the ball, create chances, dominate, press, be organized, play in transition, play with confidence, play with an aggressive mentality. Everything that I want to see out of this team I saw today except for three points.”