Long, slow applause for Portland Timbers; first road win in Caleb Porter era comes in Kansas City
Was Saturday’s win at Sporting Kansas City the best win in Portland Timbers history?
The have certainly been more emotional achievements, like the club’s debut MLS win and some noted victories over Pacific Northwest rivals. Those were sweet, eh, ye Timbers Army?
But the first road win in Caleb Porter’s still-young tenure as Timbers manager is certainly a signature achievement for the Oregon club.
Sporting Kansas City led the Eastern Conference coming into Saturday’s contest in the Midwest, one of the highlight matches of Major League’s Soccer’s 9th Round of matches. Porter’s Timbers had come close to grabbing that first road win, but did find their way to draws in the last three tests away from Jeld-Wen Field.
Porter and the Timbers billed this one as a test of how far the team had come this year – light years, surely, ahead of last year’s disheveled state. Then again, you need results to prove it.
That’s why Saturday’s 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City must feel phenomenal. Not only was Sporting Kansas City an Eastern Conference favorite and current leader, winning inside Sporting Park has never been an easy thing. This is just the sixth time in 38 matches that Sporting KC has lost inside its gleaming, high-tech facility.
Said Timbers forward Rodney Wallace of the road accomplishment: “It finally came, and it’s really good. Everybody came out and put in a good shift. … It proves we can go into any field and play the same game as we play at home.”
With RSL’s loss Saturday (and pending the late Chivas USA result), Portland finds itself in third place in the West. Not bad for a team yet to make the MLS playoffs.