PORTLAND, Ore. – In just two weeks, the Portland Timbers have fallen from second place in the Western Conference to below the playoff line, tied with their Cascadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps FC in seventh place thanks to a four-game losing skid.
Portland created 17 chances from eight different players during Sunday's match, out-shooting Seattle 22-6. Despite several close calls, the Timbers were unable to get on the scoreboard for the second consecutive game.
“Soccer is not about deserving,” coach Giovanni Savarese said in his postmatch remarks. “You have to get the job done.”
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For Portland, the silver lining is they won't have much time to wallow in their sorrows, as they face a short turnaround to Wednesday’s visit from Toronto FC (10:30 pm ET | TSN – Full TV and streaming info).
“It's all about Wednesday,” said Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella. “We’ve got to put this one behind us as fast as we can and get ready for Wednesday.”
“These guys are professionals – they know how to bounce back,” said Savarese. “There's another game on Wednesday. If we do the same thing that we did today and we're able to stay focused the entire match, then most likely we're going to win against a tough Toronto team.”
While these are times that try men's souls, as the saying goes, Savarese believes the Timbers’ current form is an important development in his team's growth.
“Things become more difficult when you're losing and not getting points,” he said, “but I think sometimes these moments allow you to get stronger, to make sure you're a stronger team [in the playoffs].”
That sentiment rings true in the locker room.
“We’ll [review] the game, think about it, and leave it behind, because we have a game Wednesday,” said playmaker Diego Valeri. “And we have a goal, which is the playoffs.”
Noted Ridgewell: “[That's] the good thing about football. It’s a quick turnaround and we’ve got to get ourselves mentally right to go and win the game against a very good Toronto side.”