Timber Cruise

Portland Timbers

Timber Cruise: Toronto FC 4, Portland Timbers 1

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A loss in Toronto is hardly something to hang your head about this year. This TFC team is on pace to finish as one of the best in MLS history, and at 8-0-3 heading into Saturday's game the Reds were tied with the Houston Dynamo for the best home record in MLS.

So Saturday's game was always going to be a difficult proposition, which unquestionably informed the Timbers' decision not to press Fanendo Adi and Liam Ridgewell back into duty.

Timber Cruise: Portland Timbers 3, LA Galaxy 1

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The Portland Timbers need points. So by that measure, Sunday was a success. The Timbers currently sit on 1.42 points per game, which, on one hand, is sixth best in the Western Conference but, on the other hand, is only .06 PPG away from third.

The Timbers' place in the table, then, is equal parts precarious and promising with 10 games to play.

Timber Cruise: Portland Timbers 2, Chicago Fire 2

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It's in there. Whether it will come out very much remains to be seen. But the Timbers have it in them to be one of the best teams in MLS.

The best teams in MLS, however, maximize their results — something the Timbers have not done to a spectacular extent in the last three weeks. As a result, the Timbers have three points form a give-game stretch in which they could — and probably should — have taken at least 11.

Timber Cruise: Colorado Rapids 2, Portland Timbers 1

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For 45 minutes it looked like Saturday was going to be a day that we pointed to as a sign that the Timbers were ready to rejoin the MLS elite as a serious trophy contender.

Boy, did they put that notion to bed in a hurry.

After halftime on Saturday the Timbers were downright bad. There wasn't really any magical tactical shift or specific weakness that undid the Timbers on Saturday.

Timber Cruise: Portland Timbers 2, FC Dallas 0

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Well, you can't say it was because FC Dallas was more shorthanded than the Timbers. With Kellyn Acosta, Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, and Maynor Figueroa all out on either national-team duty or with an injury, it would've been fair before the game to call the Burn charred by injuries.

But then the Timbers lost both Liam Ridgewell and Roy Miller to injuries.

Timber Cruise: Portland Timbers 2, San Jose Earthquakes 0

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Breaking out of a slump isn't easy.

Just ask Fanendo Adi, who on Friday night completed his metamorphosis from poor form to being downright snakebit.

But for the Portland Timbers as a team their comprehensive victory over the San Jose Earthquakes could very well serve the purpose of breaking the team out of its late-spring funk.

Timber Cruise: Portland Timbers 1, Atlanta United 1

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It's official: The Portland Timbers are in a bit of a funk.

Are there reasons for the funk? Sure. They've had a series of injuries in the attack and are going through a tough stretch in the schedule. But they've also dropped some points they shouldn't have, and have put in performances unbecoming a team that has trophy aspirations.

Timber Cruise: FC Dallas 2, Portland Timbers 2

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The Timbers took a point on the road at a consensus top-three team in MLS without their best player. Under any circumstances — and I mean any circumstances — that's a very good point.

So the Timbers have a lot to hold their heads high about this weekend.

But the way the game played out, with the Timbers twice taking the lead, including in the 71st minute by way of Sebastian Blanco's first goal in green and gold, the point comes with a twinge of regret.

Timber Cruise: Portland Timbers 2, Vancouver Whitecaps 1

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Points are great. And the Portland Timbers took all three points from their Cascadia showdown with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday afternoon.

As a result, the Timbers still sit atop the MLS standings and it's hard to complain too much from the top.

Yet the Timbers' performance on Saturday against a Whitecaps team that's been in the midst of a serious road slump left a fair amount to be desired, as Portland's shorthanded attack struggled to keep control of a game that they led 2-0 at halftime.

Timber Cruise: Philadelphia Union 1, Portland Timbers 3

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The Portland Timbers are back to their winning ways.

After two consecutive games in which the Timbers dropped points in the final ten minutes, Caleb Porter's side made sure that wasn't going to happen again. Up a goal heading into the final minutes, Darren Mattocks drew a penalty and Fanendo Adi broke the club record for all-time goals-scored with the resulting finish.

Timber Cruise: Portland Timbers 1, New England Revolution 1

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Dropped points aren't good under any circumstances. And they're especially frustrating at home in a game that the Timbers otherwise dominated.

For the second consecutive week the Timbers let a positive, attainable, and deserved result slip away in the last ten minutes.

This problem for the Timbers is hardly an emergency as they still sit atop the Supporters Shield standings (albeit they're third on points per game), but lost points matter even when they come in the spring and even when the team is otherwise in a promising position in the table.

Timber Cruise: Portland Timbers 2, Vancouver Whitecaps 1

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Caleb Porter tried on Wednesday night. He tried hard.

For eight-and-a-half minutes of his ten-minute press conference Porter qualified every bit of praise. He found every nit that there was to pick. He insisted that he still wanted more out of his team — more fitness, more goalscoring, more sharpness on the ball, more defensive discipline.

Timber Cruise: Portland Timbers 3, Real Salt Lake 3

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Welcome to the first edition of the Timber Cruise, a forest-level survey of the Timbers most recent game, this week their Preseason Tournament opener against Real Salt Lake.

The Timbers' priorities shift ever-so-gradually over the course of the preseason. In the first games in Tucson, the focus is fitness.