Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers and New England
Revolution will look continue their impressive runs of form when they meet at
Jeld-Wen Field on Thursday.
While both sides are coming off of quality wins, Portland managed to extend
its MLS club record unbeaten streak to six games with a shock 3-2 victory at
Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
Given how strong Sporting has proven to be on its home ground, it would seem
as if the Timbers managed to steal a result. But head coach Caleb Porter
squashed that notion, saying that his side was the deserved winner.
"We didn't steal the result - we matched [Sporting] toe-to-toe tonight for 90
minutes," Porter said. "I thought we gave them a lot of problems and they had
their moments, their chances as well.
"We knew it was going to be that way we knew it would be a game where they had
some chances but we had quite a bit as well. In terms of the flow, possession
and our ability to press them I thought we really executed the plan we put in
The Timbers twice fell behind in the contest, but Ryan Johnson believes that
the team's perseverance helped them overcome the deficits.
"We haven't crumbled all season," Johnson said. "We've been in this situation
in many games so all of those [events] helped mold us into a team that could
handle this situation. We were fine and we knew that we were going to get back
and we did."
It is precisely that change in culture that has been the catalyst for change
in Portland. A season ago, conceding the lead at Sporting would have meant
dropping the result. But this time around, under the guidance of Porter, the
Timbers have shown confidence to claim points wherever they go.
Portland has been consistent regardless of whether or not it plays at home,
evidenced by the club's six points from road matches and seven points from
matches at Jeld-Wen.
The same can be said for New England, which has managed four of its eight
points on the road.
In their last outing, the Revs snapped a five-game winless run with a 2-0 home
victory over the Philadelphia Union.
Expect head coach Jay Heaps to deploy similar tactics after the tandem of Lee
Nguyen and Kelyn Rowe thrived in their central playmaking roles against
"I thought [Saturday] we put a lot of confidence in Kelyn [Rowe] and Lee
[Nguyen] to step up there and be two kinds of playmakers, with Kelyn trying to
penetrate, pick up loose balls and Lee to be more of the playmaker in the
terms of with the ball at his feet," said Heaps. "The two of them have a nice
style. I think they did a nice one-two tonight. I think Lee has a nice way of
playing balls and Kelyn reads it pretty well."
The Sports Network