Timbers head to RSL in search of first win
Sandy, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - The Portland Timbers will go for their first win of the season on Saturday when the club heads to Rio Tinto Stadium to face Real Salt Lake.
The Timbers, who finished the regular season atop the Western Conference last term, have been quite slow out of the gates, managing just four points from their first six contests.
Portland was held to a 1-1 home draw by Chivas USA last time out, a result that felt more like a loss given that it took place at Providence Park.
"We want to win," Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said after the match. "We are used to winning. So I think anything that is not a win, especially at home, is going to feel like a loss. When you're on the road, you'll swallow a draw. You're not playing for a draw, but if you get one, it's not a bad result at all, but at home it's important to get three points as much as possible.
"We're behind the eight ball, obviously. There are plenty of examples of teams that started slow that have won it all. I believe Houston started eight games without a win and ended up winning MLS Cup, and the L.A. Galaxy started slow when they won it one year as well. But, in the end we're not where we wanted to be at this point, and we have to step it up."
Real Salt Lake has been at the opposite end of the spectrum so far this season as the Claret and Cobalt are the last remaining unbeaten team in the league.
First-year head coach Jeff Cassar has his side playing some impressive stuff, guiding the club to 10 points in his first six games at the helm.
Salt Lake looked certain to take all three points from its last outing as it held a one-goal lead over the Philadelphia Union in the dying stages of the match, but a late strike from Maurice Edu saw the two sides split the points.
"I think at the end of the day it was a fair result," Cassar said after the match. "I think they had several half chances and we had a few very good chances. It was a hard fought game, it looked like there was two tough teams out there competing extremely hard and we just have to do a better job of focusing and closing out games."
Even while Real Salt Lake was disappointed to only come away from PPL Park with a point, midfielder Luke Mulholland was able to find solace in getting points on the road to maintain the club's unbeaten start to the season.
"Mentally it is good for us," said the first-year Salt Lake midfielder. "I think it shows that we are a hard team to beat, even though that is possibly two points dropped because we have taken the lead so late on. It just shows our expectations that we have for the whole season."
04/18 16:39:32 ET