Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers will go for their first
win of the season on Saturday when the club engages in a tough interconference
battle with the Houston Dynamo at JELD-WEN Field.
In the Timbers' last match, midfielder Will Johnson netted a second-half
double as Portland battled back from a 2-0 deficit to salvage a point in a 2-2
draw with the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Dillon Powers opened the scoring for Colorado 18 minutes in with a rocket into
the top right corner from outside the box.
Just after halftime, Hendry Thomas converted a penalty kick to widen the
advantage, but Johnson scored twice in the second half to ensure a point for
"We've kind of been the comeback kids, Portland head coach Caleb Porter said
of his team's resilience. "We don't want to be coming back as much as we have
been. People will focus on the negatives, and obviously there are some
negatives: we haven't won a game in four and we've given up the first goal in
"I'm focused on the positives," Porter continued. "We've only lost one game.
As much as we haven't won a game, four times we played a team, and we've only
lost one game, and that's to the team at the top of the table. We're all
competitors, we all want three points, it's just not happening as quickly as
we want. For me, I'm going to focus on the positives, and how much progress
we've made in the last two years, and how much progress we've made from last
year. That's a 3-0 game last year."
Houston, meanwhile, is coming off a comfortable 2-0 win over the San Jose
Earthquakes at BBVA Compass Stadium to extend their remarkable unbeaten streak
on home soil to 34 consecutive matches.
Young striker Will Bruin broke the ice in the 17th minute and Giles Barnes
added a second goal before the halftime whistle to all but put it away for
"I think it puts them under pressure and it rewards the guys for their hard
work," Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said of his team's good first half.
"I think every game we step on the field, home or away, I'd like to see the
guys impose their will on the other team. It gives you confidence, a boost of
energy, when you get the first goal. Then the second goal right before half
time was a really good one for us."
While the Dynamo have been seemingly untouchable at home, away from the
friendly confines of BBVA, it's a bit of a different story.
The Dynamo won just once on the road last season in regular-season games and
know they have a tough task on their hands in Portland.
Dynamo defender Eric Brunner has a unique take on the Timbers' home ground
after playing in Portland for the past two seasons before being acquired by
Houston this offseason.
"The way the stadium's set up, the sound stays inside, there's a giant
building in the back that keeps the vibrations and noise bouncing off," he
said. "It stays pretty loud so you have to be on your toes when you're playing
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