Timbers Unbeaten Streak Ends at 15 Games

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Ryan Johnson (right) battles with Chad Barson (left) (Jay LaPrete/The Associated Press)
Ryan Johnson (right) battles with Chad Barson (left)
(Jay LaPrete/The Associated Press)

COLUMBUS, Ohio –- Well… it couldn’t last forever. The Portland Timbers’ 15-game undefeated streak finally came to an end after a 1-0 loss to the Columbus Crew on Sunday.

“They’re disappointed, and obviously they should be because we lost, we haven’t lost in quite a while,” Portland Timbers Head Coach Caleb Porter said. “But for me there’s no failure, there’s just feedback. The feedback I got today was very positive in a lot of ways, again reinforcing just how tough and strong this team is. We got better today, even though we lost. You can get better through losses just as much as you get better through positive results.”

The Timbers (7-2-9), already without captain midfielder Will Johnson who is off playing in the Gold Cup for the Canadian national team, played a man down for almost the entirety of the game. Central defender Pa Modou Kah received a red card for two questionable tackles that earned him two yellow cards.

“That was a rocky start and ultimately, that first 13 minutes cost us the game,” Porter said. “Absolutely admirable for our guys to play 80-plus minutes down a man – we didn’t give up a goal and we had chances to level. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a team go that long down a man and not give up a goal; but we should have never been in that situation to begin with.”

It’s a tough loss, but the Timbers are still in great shape for postseason play. With 30 points the Timbers are currently in fourth place in the Western Conference standings. Ahead of Portland is Real Salt Lake, FC Dallas and the LA Galaxy.

Portland will face the Galaxy on the road on Saturday July 13th. It will be an incredible opportunity for both teams in the fight for a playoff spot.

“Sometimes it takes feeling defeat to really stay sharp and stay hungry,” Porter said.

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