Earthquakes look to continue to turn around season vs. Timbers

The San Jose Earthquakes and host Portland Timbers are tied for last place in the Western Conference heading into their meeting Wednesday night.

But the clubs are certainly headed in different directions.

The Earthquakes (3-8-1, 10 points) have won two matches in a row and are undefeated in their past three while the Timbers (2-6-4, 10 points) are winless in their past nine (0-6-3).

San Jose rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the host Colorado Rapids 3-2 on Saturday as Cristian Espinoza had a goal and Victor Costa had two helpers. New Earthquakes designated player Hernan Lopez scored in his first MLS start and Amahl Pellegrino tallied for the second straight game.

“We had quite a bit of new additions to the team,” Earthquakes coach Luchi Gonzalez said of his team’s slow start to the season. “They’re good players and they need time to adapt to this league.”

The Timbers blew an early lead to lose 2-1 to visiting Seattle on Sunday. Felipe Mora scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season in the 15th minute, but that was all Portland could manage.

“I believe we have to stay together, have to keep working and just try to make it work,” Mora said. “We have another match around the corner and we’re just going to try to turn the page and focus on this game on Wednesday.”

First-year Timbers coach Phil Neville admitted his team is “in trouble.”

“Now it’s must-win games, and that’s not the best situation to be in because that brings more pressure, more expectation, more tension, anxiety,” Neville said.

The Timbers are undefeated at Providence Park in 19 regular-season games against the Earthquakes in the MLS era.

“It is a very challenging place to win. It’s a fun place to play. It’s exciting to play there,” Gonzalez said. “History is made to change. We look forward to changing it sooner than later. We’re going to go to Portland with that mentality.”

–Field Level Media