The San Jose Earthquakes will play their first of two matches this week when they face the Portland Timbers on Wednesday, August 4 at Providence Park. Wednesday’s match marks the second meeting between San Jose and Portland in 2021. San Jose hosted Portland on May 15 at PayPal Park and were beaten 2-0 on goals by Yimmi Chara and Marvin Loria.
San Jose looks to build on a timely 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC that ended a winless run of 11 matches and extended their active unbeaten streak to five (1-0-4). Midfielder Cristian Espinoza tallied San Jose’s lone goal to give the Quakes the lead. JT Marcinkowski made important saves to maintain that advantage and ultimately see the Quakes exit Lumen Field with three points for the first time vs. Seattle in 2015.
Marcinkowski’s efforts against the Western Conference leaders were recognized with a feature in the MLS Team of the Week for Week 16.
Marcinkowski has not allowed more than one goal in any of the last four matches, highlighted by a shutout victory on Saturday. He says his recent form has come as a result of his mental outlook.
“I think I’m just trying to be more present,” Marcinkowski said after Saturday’s victory. “Just trying to be more in the moment and focus on doing everything well, having a really positive mindset and not letting big things get out of control. I think at the beginning of the year, I was putting too much pressure on myself. I was thinking too much in the future, too much in the past. In the last five or six games, just trying to be more present.”
Looking ahead to Wednesday’s match, Marcinkowski says the entire team needs to be mentally locked to earn a positive result against the Portland Timbers.
“All eyes are on Portland,” Marcinkowski said. “They’re going to be another tough team. I can’t remember the last time we won away there. So, going to try and do it again and prepare and take this same mentality that we had [on Saturday] into Portland Wednesday night.”
The Quakes have yet to defeat Portland as visitors. In 13 matches played at Providence Park, the Quakes have yielded a record of 0-10-3.
The Portland Timbers are 2-3-0 in their last five matches, including 4-1 losses to Austin FC on July 1 and the LA Galaxy on July 30.
Head coach Matias Almeyda says the Quakes can build on their momentum on Wednesday if the team continues to exhibit the qualities that have generated positive results in recent matches.
“The team is more compact,” Almeyda said after Saturday’s victory. “When the team was losing so many games in a row, there were matches in which they played well. Obviously, the results weren’t what we expected. We believe in hard work, humility, and desire. When you believe in your work and virtue, sooner or later the sun will shine.”
Kickoff at Providence Park is set for 7:30 p.m. PT and the match will be broadcast live on NBC Sports California, KNBR 1050 and 1370 KZSF.