It’s gut check time for the Timbers. After a disappointing start to the season, Timbers players and fans alike pointed to the stretch of 11 of 12 games at home where they could make up ground in the playoff race. But after tonight’s 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls, Portland now has lost 4 of 6 matches at home and are in real danger of missing the playoffs.
The Red Bulls struck early in Wednesday’s game, taking a lead in the third minute after Kyle Duncan fired a shot into the top of the net off a cross from Josh Sims. The Timbers came close to finding the equalizer in the 19th minute when captain Diego Valeri put a beautiful pass into the box for Diego Chara. Chara’s shot clanked off the crossbar.
The chances just kept on coming for Portland, but they were unable to capitalize. Jeremy Ebobisse got on the end of a cross from Sebastian Blanco behind the backline in the 82nd minute, but somehow put his open shot just wide. In stoppage time, New York put the match away when Daniel Royer converted a penalty kick to give New York the decisive 2-0 lead.
Portland fell out of playoff position into eighth place in the Western Conference standings with the loss. Up next, The Timbers will have another chance to turn things around at home Sunday when they host Minnesota United.