Author’s note: Red, White and Green is Playing for 90′s column aimed at focusing on the Cascadian (Pacific Northwest) teams. In MLS, three teams – Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver – battle for the Cascadia Cup each year. Red, White, and Green will give a critical eye to Cascadia teams. The column is named Red, White, and Green based on the team colors. Red for the Portland Timbers as they are known as “Rose City”, white for the Vancouver Whitecaps as it is their primary color when they play, and lastly green for the Seattle Sounders as they wear “Rave Green” for most matches, home or away.
Sep 7, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Timbers defender Alvas Powell (2) runs into San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch (18) during the second half half of the game at Providence Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
Yesterday, I wrote about the how the Seattle Sounders were facing a critical four game stretch. The same could be said for the Portland Timbers. Just like the rest of Major League Soccer, the Timbers have four games remaining and every one of them is just as important as the next.
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The Timbers currently sit one point back from the fifth and final playoff spot behind their Cascadia rival, the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Timbers were coming off a dominate 3-0 win at home over the Whitecaps to reclaim that fifth spot. This past weekend, the Timbers blew an early two goal lead to lose to Toronto FC 3-2 on the road. If the Timbers want to make the playoffs for the second time in their history and second consecutive year they will most likely need to win three of their final four matches to be safe.
The first two of their four game stretch includes a home and home series with the San Jose Earthquakes. The first game will be played in San Jose on Saturday in front of a national televised audience. San Jose has no chance of making the playoffs this year, but they will be looking to play spoiler. The only realistic chance the Earthquakes have to make the playoffs is to hope they beat win out and the Timbers and Whitecaps both lose out the rest of the season.
The return leg of the home and home series is on Wednesday October 8th in front of a raucous Timbers Army. It will be very important for the Timbers to collect all six points in this home and home series as the face Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas to finish the season.
The Timbers will be without Captain Will Johnson for the rest of the season as he suffered a broken leg in the loss to Toronto. They will also be without Diego Valeri for the first match against the Earthquakes due to yellow card accumulation. I will be very interested to see what the Timbers do to fill the hole left by the injury to Johnson. Whatever it is, I hope it is good as their season hangs in the balance.