Timbers, 'Quakes meet in Western Conference clash
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - After earning their much-needed first win of the season, the Portland Timbers will look to keep the positive momentum flowing when they tangle with the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday at JELD-WEN FIELD.
The Timbers scuffled through their first four matches, but finally put it together last Saturday in a comfortable 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo.
Portland was dealt some bad injury news in the first half as Designated Player Diego Valeri and defender David Horst both had to come out of the match, but the home side hung tough and took control of the match in the second half.
Ryan Johnson broke the deadlock for Portland in the 55th minute when he nodded home a cross from Diego Chara and put the result away in the 73rd after collected a through ball from Darlington Nagbe and ripping it into the top right corner to send the home crowd of over 20,000 home happy.
"It feels good winning our first of hopefully many," Portland head coach Caleb Porter said. "(I am) proud of the guys. They had a bit of adversity in the first half, but as the half went on, we just got rolling. The guys that came into that game did a great job."
Horst had surgery to repair a fracture in his right leg during the week and will be out six months, while Valeri's status for Sunday is still in question.
San Jose, meanwhile, is coming off a 1-1 draw at Buck Shaw Stadium against the Vancouver Whitecaps last time out.
Reigning Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski got the hosts off to a flying start in the 16th minute when he blasted one into the top right corner for his third goal of the young season.
But Vancouver equalized in the 62nd minute through Corey Hertzog, but not without a little controversy.
Hertzog, who was making his first start of the season, pounced on a deflected shot by Daigo Kobayashi and ripped it past San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch from about nine yards out.
But San Jose was fuming after the goal because referee Fotis Bazakos would not allow Victor Bernardez and Alan Gordon back onto the pitch after both players went off to change their footwear.
San Jose will be hoping to put an end to a modest two-match winless run on Sunday, but will do so without defender Steven Beitashour, who continues to recover from sports hernia surgery, while Medhi Ballouchy and Tommy Muller will also be out.
04/12 16:42:43 ET