Santa Clara, CA (Sports Network) - The San Jose Earthquakes and Portland
Timbers will renew their rivalry for the second consecutive week as they
finish up their home-and-home series with a meeting at Buck Shaw Stadium on
The two sides did battle at Jeld-Wen Field last Sunday with the Timbers
picking up the win thanks to Will Johnson's second-half free kick.
"I've always had the ability to score goals, and it's nice to be producing for
the team," Johnson said. "And also being a leader, I think that puts a little
bit of extra pressure on myself and responsibility when a play needs to be
made. I played on a team in [Real] Salt Lake where guys, when they needed to
step up did, guys who have been around the block and now I'm that guy. So I
have to step up and make plays or will other guys to make plays. It's all part
of the evolution of my game and becoming a leader here in Portland."
While Johnson's exceptional free kick was the difference between the two sides
on the night, the rivalry was heightened by Alan Gordon's sending off in the
69th minute. The 'Quakes striker caught Mikael Silvestre with an elbow to earn
a second yellow card and leave the French defender bloodied.
Gordon will miss the return match against Portland this weekend due to the red
card, but he was handed an additional three-match ban for using offensive
language toward an opponent, an instance that brought the proceedings in
Portland to boil.
But even with San Jose being reduced to 10 men, head coach Frank Yallop still
had hopes of seeing his side take something from the match.
"Even with 10 men, I felt it was going to be 0-0 for us," Yallop said after
the match. "Didn't feel that we were probably going to score tonight, but felt
pretty comfortable we could hang in there. We did defend the box well. I think
that for us, when your back is against the wall, with 10 men, you have to keep
digging in there."
Last Sunday's draw sees Portland come into the weekend occupying third place
in the Western Conference with nine points on the season. The next five clubs
in the table - one of which is San Jose - are level on eight points apiece.
"We knew coming in that we could jump five teams in the conference, and you
know we want to get above the red line and stay up there," Timbers head coach
Caleb Porter said after the game. "We made a push today and moved up the
table. We need to make sure we keep pushing and stay there."
The rematch is likely to have a similar outcome, depending on Saturday's
results in Western Conference action. A win for San Jose would catapult the
'Quakes back above the Timbers and restore the club's two-point lead over its
neighbors to the north.
But Portland will have other ideas. The Timbers have found some organization
in defense that has led to back-to-back clean sheets. With the club riding a
222-minute shutout streak, Portland will be aiming for another staunch
"Two games and two clean sheets, that was a part of our game that people were
questioning; I wasn't," Porter said. "I knew we had it in us to be a very good
defensive team and we've shown that the last two games. A big reason is we've
been working hard in training to tighten things up."
The Sports Network