PORTLAND — There were not a lot of scoring chances. But as far as Timbers coach Caleb Porter was concerned, Sunday’s effort was right on target.
“Sometimes it comes in different ways, but winning teams find the goal somewhere. We were very patient and methodical. We had the ball a lot, but all you need is one to win and that’s what we found,” Porter said after the Timbers defeated San Jose 2-1.
The goal was a nifty free kick from midfielder Will Johnson, who spun his 25-yard shot over a wall of defenders and out of the reach of Earthquakes’ goalkeeper Jon Busch.
Porter sent a text to Johnson on Sunday suggesting it would be nice if he would score from a free kick, and the team captain was happy to come through.
“I just wanted to get it over the wall, hit it with enough pace to where the goalkeeper couldn’t get over and grab it,” he said.
The Timbers moved up four places to third in the Western Conference standings with the win. They did it by going toe to toe with one of the feistier teams in Major League Soccer.
“They want to battle and crunch. We knew that coming in, it wasn’t a surprise and we knew it was going to get chippy,” Johnson said of the Quakes. “I’m proud of our guys for battling toe-to-toe, not giving anything away and not losing our cool.”
Portland’s composure figures to be tested again Sunday, when the Timbers face the Quakes on the road.
“We need to have the same energy and fight and mentality,” Porter said.