Portland, OR – Portland Timbers coach John Spencer said this Wen Field that might be unnecessary.
The expansion Timbers have accumulated 29 of their 36 points at home this year and are undefeated in four straight overall and have won four straight at home entering Wednesday's match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Portland (10-12-6) is currently tied with Red Bull New York for the last of 10 postseason berths in Major League Soccer, and are just two behind the Houston Dynamo with two games in hand for ninth place.
With a sparkling 9-4-2 home mark, the Timbers can post their second five-match win streak at home with victory against San Jose (6-11-11). The Timbers opened the season with five straight home wins before hitting a rough patch.
"We want to win our home games, you need to win your home games in order to make the playoffs, but there's still going to be opportunities if we don't win at home," Spencer said.
Although that may be true, with just one more home game left after Wednesday - against Houston on Oct. 14 - the Timbers cannot afford to drop points at home.
Trips to New York, Vancouver, D.C. United and Real Salt Lake will not be easy, but with six more points at home - starting with three against San Jose - the expansion club could easily find itself in the playoffs.
"I think we played ever so well in the first 45 (minutes). I thought it was some of the best football I've seen in Major League Soccer this year for 45 minutes," Spencer said.
The Timbers set a franchise record with their third straight shutout, and Troy Perkins posted his eighth clean sheet to equal a career-high set with D.C. two times.
Although Portland is playing well, Spencer knows better than to overlook San Jose.
"We will face a very tough San Jose team that have one of the most naturally- gifted finishers in Chris Wondolowski. When they come up here they're going to pose an unbelievable threat," Spencer said.
Portland earned a 1-1 draw in the first meeting in San Jose on Aug. 6, and the Earthquakes are just 2-7-4 on the road this season. With just one win in their last five, including three losses, San Jose has been struggling.
The Earthquakes lost for the third time this season in their last match when scoring first as Houston rallied for a 2-1 win Saturday at home. It was a game San Jose would have won last year, according to Wondolowski.
"Last year we found a way to win these games," Wondolowski said. "This year we are shooting ourselves in the foot a bit. We are making a couple of mistakes and getting punished for them and not finishing when we should."
Yallop said after the match "I can't fault our guys for effort," but that will not be enough down the stretch if the 'Quakes hope to return to the playoffs.