Match Preview

MATCH PREVIEW: Earthquakes head north to play the Portland Timbers    

preview portl

The San Jose Earthquakes will travel to challenge the Portland Timbers on Wednesday, May 15. Kickoff from Providence Park in Portland, Oregon, will take place at 7:30 p.m. PT and will be broadcast globally on Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass, as well as on local radio via AM 810 The Spread (English) and AM 1370 La Kaliente (Spanish). 

The Earthquakes are riding a wave of momentum, rattling off three successive wins in all competitions. In their last outing, San Jose’s resilience was on full display against the Colorado Rapids in a 3-2 road victory. After conceding two early goals, the Quakes battled back with two of their own to close out the first half. Forward Amahl Pellegrino scored the first off a rebound in the box, and new-signing Hernán López tied the game with his first MLS goal. After a back-and-forth battle in the second half, playmaker Cristian Espinoza notched the eventual game-winner in the 66th minute to bring home all three points—a feat the Black and Blue hadn’t accomplished in Colorado in 11 years.

San Jose aims to keep its winning streak going as they enter a midweek clash in Portland. Historically, the Earthquakes have had trouble in the Pacific Northwest, having never won in Providence Park.

While Espinoza remains the focal point in attack, Vítor Costa emerged as another offensive threat, supplying two assists last Saturday and joining Espinoza on the Team of the Matchday.

The Timbers head into this matchup following a 2-1 loss at home against Seattle Sounders FC. Leading the line for Portland, forward Felipe Mora scored his fifth goal of the season. Mora has performed well in the past against the Earthquakes, tallying two goals and two assists lifetime. Midfielder Evander pulls the strings for the Timbers. The playmaker currently has four goals and four assists in the 2024 campaign.

Earlier this season, Portland midfielder Diego Chara broke the all-time MLS record for most appearances in the league (377). This record was previously held by Earthquakes legend Chris Wondolowski, who among those to congratulate Chara on his accomplishment. Chara has started in 10 out of the 12 games the Timbers have played this season.

As the Earthquakes approach their road match against the Timbers, head coach Luchi Gonzalez remains motivated to earn the club’s first away victory at Providence Park. “This is one of the hardest games in our schedule,” Gonzalez said. “I think historically we've never won at Portland. … We made some historical statistics the other night and our mentality is to keep changing history and trying to worry about what we control which is getting points in Portland. The guys are in good recovery today. … It's a great environment in Portland and we want to be a part of that and we're excited for the next game.”

New Designated Player Hernán López has hit the ground running in San Jose. Gonzalez recognizes what he offers in attack, but also sees a more complete side to his game. “When we scouted and observed Hernán, it was clear that not only does he have talent in the attack, he has an intensity and a connection to how teams defend,” said Gonzalez. “He’s a playmaker. It’s great to have not only an attacking talent, but just a piece that understands that we need we need everybody connected defensively, all 11 players. He has that naturally.”

With the Quakes showcasing an excellent run of form over their last three games in league play, it will take a collective effort to earn their first away victory in Portland.