PORTLAND, ORE. – On the heels of the a 15-match unbeaten streak, the Portland Timbers have now lost consecutive games at home as part of a four-game losing streak. To make matters worse, the losses both came to Cascadia Cup rivals – first to the Vancouver Whitecaps and now Sunday night's 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders.
“We need to be better,” was Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese’s blunt assessment following the loss to Seattle. “Because we were better than Seattle today. And we gave the game away. They took advantage of one moment and they changed the game when it was in our hands.
“We were completely dominating the match. We cannot lose a game that we have in our hands like we did today. If we keep playing games this way, we are going to win more games than we will lose but we have to play the whole match.”
This was not the first time Savarese expressed concern about his team not playing 90 minutes. Speaking at halftime on the road against D.C. United last week, Savarese expressed this same worry after the Timbers took an early lead only to give up four goals.
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Coming back to Sunday night, Portland’s plan of spreading Seattle out across the field proved to be mildly effective, to which Savarese credits Seattle for defending well while noting the Sounders “created nothing” in a match where they were outshot by the home team 22 to 6.
Aside from the result, Savarese found much to like about the performance by his team that had the game in their hands.
“We just have to make sure we are a little bit better to go all the way and be able to win a game we had. I have was very proud of the work the guys did. We played basically on their half the second half of the game.”
And despite the four-game losing streak, not to mention his team's slip below the playoff line, Savarese is not quite ready to throw the baby out with the the bath water as defending champs Toronto FC come to town for a Wednesday showdown (10:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info).
“I was proud of a lot of the things we did today,” he said. “If we did the same thing we did today and we can stay focused for the entire match, then most likely we will win the match against a tough Toronto team. From what I saw today I saw a lot of good things.”