Timbers set sights on playoffs in last regular season games

Portland welcomes Colorado for regular season finale on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 4 p.m.

Portland Timbers fans celebrate after a goal during the second half of an MLS soccer game against the Houston Dynamo in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Portland Timbers fans celebrate after a goal during the second half of an MLS soccer game against the Houston Dynamo in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -– Finding the back of the net with regularity wasn’t a problem for the Timbers last season.

That’s when they finished third in Major League Soccer (MLS) in goals scored with 61.

But this year, Portland has scored just 31 goals and can’t seem to catch a break.

“It’s definitely disappointing especially at home,” Nat Borchers, a Timbers defender, said. “You don’t want to drop points at home, especially when you outplay the other team and you get a lot of chances on goal.”

But fortunately the Timbers have Fanendo Adi on their side.

Portland Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury, center, is congratulated by defender Jorge Villafana, left, and midfielder George Fochive after Jewsbury scored the winning goal against the Colorado Rapids (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Portland Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury, center, is congratulated by defender Jorge Villafana, left, and midfielder George Fochive after Jewsbury scored the winning goal against the Colorado Rapids (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Adi, who set a Timbers MLS club record for goals in a season when he scored his 12th against the Columbus Crew, said what’s most important to him is helping the Timbers punch their ticket to the postseason.

“Right now we’re in a tight spot, and we’re looking forward to scoring the goals and getting ourselves into the playoffs,” said Adi.

This year a sixth-place finish would earn the Timbers a playoff berth, only because MLS made the decision to change its rules in the offseason. As of Sunday, Oct. 11., the Timbers were tied for sixth in points with San Jose, but sat below the red line in 7th place in the Western Conference Standings.

“I get disappointed when we lose at home a lot,” Adi, a Timbers forward, said. “It was a hard one to swallow after that game [we lost to Sporting Kansas City], but we had a chat with the coach [Caleb Porter] and he gave us the motivation to move on from the game.”

And moving on starts with trying to get a victory at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

“The training sessions have been very good, very sharp,” said Borchers. “We’re fighting with each other, which is good. You know, there’s a lot of spirit on the team. And again, the full focus is on Salt Lake.”

As Portland gets ready for Real Salt Lake, the players send a message to the Timbers Army for being there every step of the way.

“We salute them. They’ve been unbelievable for us,” said Borchers. “A lot of class from them to continue to support us through some tough games. We’re going to continue to fight for them, and hopefully get these results.”

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