Saturday, May 15: Timbers 2, Earthquakes 0
The goals: Yimmi Chara scored with a delicate left-footed chip from six yards after Eryk Williamson dribbled past a defender and laid the ball into Chara's path (fifth minute, 1-0 Timbers) Saturday, May 15.
Marvin Loria scored his first goal of the season when he nodded home a cross from Williamson, who had space on the right to deliver a well-placed ball (74th minute, 2-0) Timbers).
What it means: Shorthanded Portland gets a huge win, improves to 2-3-0 and moves up to ninth place in the MLS Western Conference. San Jose drops its second home match this week and is 3-3-0.
The skinny: Cathartic is the word that comes to mind as the shorthanded Timbers found a win on the road after a coming off of a three-loss week and with nine players home nursing injuries.
Midfielder Williamson delivered a pair of classy assists, Yimmi Chara's chip goal put Portland ahead quickly and just-arrived goalkeeper Logan Ketterer became Chris Wondolowski's worst nightmare. Ketterer dove low to his left to block a Wondolowski penalty kick in the 62nd minute. In the 80th minute, he reacted quickly to save a header by the MLS all-time leader in goals to earn the shutout in his first MLS match.
Ketterer credited the defenders, particularly center backs Dario Zuparic and Bill Tuiloma, for playing big in front of him. As a team the Timbers blocked eight shots and Ketterer made four saves.
Portland led at halftime for the first time in five MLS matches this season.
Man of the match: Williamson. In addition to two beautiful assists, he thrived in a more defensive role than he usually plays. In that role he helped disrupt attacks through the middle and also dribble and pass the ball out of pressure.
Lineup notes: With nine players out injured, Portland's depth was key — as was the arrival of just-acquired 27-year-old goalkeeper Ketterer from El Paso Locomotive of the USL Championship. Center backs Dario Zuparic and Bill Tuiloma, despite playing the second half on yellow cards, each had strong games and defensive support from all over the field (including Jeremy Ebobisse, who started on the left wing) allowed the Timbers to control the match despite only owning 33% possession. Pablo Bonilla had a solid match at right back. Claudio Bravo's aggressive play at left back continues to put the Timbers into tight spots and he committed another penalty-kick foul (a handball trying to block a cross). Among the missing players was Diego Chara. The Timbers have not fared well with the Colombian disrupter out, but dug in and got it done Saturday, with defensive efforts from Andy Polo, Yimmi Chara and Marvin Loria supporting the backline.
Giovanni Savarese: "The guys were very disciplined without the ball. Everybody had an assignment without the ball to make sure that we managed each other, and there were a lot of associations in different areas in order to make sure that we controlled some of the (Quakes') movements, the fluidity of the movements. … Also, offensively with the ball we did a lot of good things, we were able to manage the ball well in good areas and made good opportunities, everything that we practiced, the guys did."
Goalkeeper Logan Ketterer on his PK save: "The most important thing to think about as a goalkeeper is that you're not expected to make the save so there's really nothing that can go wrong. All you can do is push as hard as you can and make sure you don't go off the line early. It was a great moment for me."
Eryk Williamson: "It speaks to us being able to adapt. We knew Logan for about four days … and I think he played amazing. He's a key part of this win and it's good that he stepped up and played this game for us. Everyone who stepped on the field tonight gave it their all. I think we got to focus on the guys that we have and that we can play in these stretches and beat some of the better teams in this league."
Up next: Portland returns home to face the LA Galaxy at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 22 (ABC TV). The Galaxy are 4-1-0 (second in the West).
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.