Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers cannot seem to stop
picking up points.
The Rose City club failed to take something from a league match just once this
season when it suffered a 2-1 home defeat to the Montreal Impact on March 9.
Since that loss, the Timbers have gone 14 regular season matches without
defeat, bringing the club to a spot one point back of first-place FC Dallas in
the Western Conference.
Defense has been the foundation of Portland's recent success as the club has
conceded just five goals over its last eight games, a stretch that includes
back-to-back shutouts in its most recent outings.
The Timbers will hope to keep another clean sheet when it welcomes the
Colorado Rapids to Jeld-Wen Field on Sunday.
Portland boasts the best goal differential in MLS thus far, scoring 25 goals
while conceding just 16. The Timbers' offensive output ties them with
Vancouver Whitecaps FC for the best in MLS, but head coach Caleb Porter
believes that the club's defense is the primary reason for its recent success.
"I think what's great is that we lead the league in goals and everybody talks
about our attacking side but we're becoming a very good defensive team,"
Porter said after the Timbers picked up a point in a scoreless draw with the
Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday. "I was most pleased with how we looked, how
seasoned, how experienced we looked tonight. We look like a team that's been
together for years but the reality is we've only been together for six months.
This is something we'll certainly draw on, when we get in difficult situations
like tonight we know we can get a result, we know we can buckle down."
On the flip side, Colorado has been lamenting its defensive frailties of late.
The Rapids enjoyed a six-match unbeaten run not long ago, but they have lost
two straight after falling to the Chicago Fire, 2-1, at Toyota Park on
It was the third consecutive match that Colorado had conceded two goals,
giving head coach Oscar Pareja something to analyze ahead of the club's trip
"We're concerned about it for sure," Pareja said of the defense. "It's
something we were showing a lot of improvement for a lot of games, and now the
last three that we have conceded goals, and that's the main concern that we
There were multiple goals on hand when Colorado played to a 2-2 draw with
Portland at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on March 30.
Sunday's clash will mark the second of three meetings between the two clubs
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