Earthquakes look to make MLS history in Portland

Sep 16, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Earthquakes head coach Luchi Gonzalez gestures to the crowd after defeating Real Salt Lake at PayPal Park. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes have had some success on the road against Cascadia teams this season.

But they’ve never had any in Portland, where they will meet the Timbers on Wednesday night.

The Earthquakes (10-9-10, 40 points) haven’t won in Portland in 16 MLS regular-season matches, going 0-12-4 with losses in 10 of their past 11 trips to the Rose City.

San Jose’s only two road wins this season have come at Seattle and Vancouver. No MLS team has ever won away against all three Cascadia teams in the same season.

“The main focus is how to put together a performance to win,” Earthquakes coach Luchi Gonzalez said after Saturday’s 2-1 victory against visiting Real Salt Lake that pulled San Jose level with Houston and RSL on points for fifth place in the Western Conference. “We have to recover quickly because we want to continue to show our desire against Portland.”

Jeremy Ebobisse and Rodrigues scored in the opening 15 minutes Saturday, both off assists from Cristian Espinoza, and the Earthquakes held on.

“It’s all a product of the guys working together and believing. The most important thing is staying focused on earning points to make the playoffs,” Gonzalez said.

The Timbers (9-11-9, 36 points) won 2-1 Sunday at Austin FC to move into the ninth and final playoff position in the West. Felipe Mora had a goal and an assist and Evander also tallied.

The Timbers improved to 3-1-1 under interim coach Miles Joseph and have scored two goals in all five of those matches.

“In general, guys were coming around and getting healthy,” Joseph said. “That positive energy that comes along with that has been a really good way for us to move this group forward. And they’re in a really good place.”

This will be the third meeting between the teams this season. They played to a scoreless draw in an MLS match June 17 at San Jose, then host Portland won 2-0 on July 22 in the Leagues Cup.

–Field Level Media

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