The Portland Timbers were brought down to earth in their last match, but they look to regain their form when they visit the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night.
The Timbers won the MLS is Back Tournament near Orlando, but the strong play was absent in their return to regular-season play, when they were blanked 3-0 by the Seattle Sounders on Sunday.
That has Portland (3-2-1, 10 points) intent on bouncing back from what felt like a subpar final portion of the contest against Seattle. The match was scoreless after 71 minutes before the Sounders closed with a flurry.
"Regardless of how long it would usually take us to bounce back from something like this, we don't have time to sulk on it, we don't have time to think about what just happened. We've got to move on and get back to work," Timbers defenseman Chris Duvall told reporters.
Portland tallied 14 times during its seven-game run to the MLS is Back title, but put just five shots on target versus the Sounders.
Midfielder Diego Valeri and forward Jeremy Ebobisse share the team lead with three goals.
The Earthquakes (2-1-2, eight points) will be playing their first game without midfielder Magnus Eriksson, who was transferred back to Djurgardens IF, his former club in Sweden. Eriksson had 13 goals and 14 assists in 69 matches (66 starts) in two-plus seasons with San Jose.
The loss of the 30-year-old Eriksson is a big one for the Earthquakes, but general manager Jesse Fioranelli feels it will be mitigated fairly quickly.
"Fortunately, our game is not and will not be dependent on a single player, and while the team's overall game identity will remain the same, we believe that a fresh player can create a fresh spark," Fioranelli told reporters.
"Maybe over time, this change can even produce a slightly different look and feel when we attack. Secondly, the group is compact and has proven to be able to take adjustments head on," he said.
Forwards Chris Wondolowski and Andy Rios and defender Oswaldo Alanis share the team lead with two goals.
San Jose's most recent game was Aug. 1 when it lost 4-1 to Minnesota United FC in the quarterfinals of the MLS is Back Tournament.
--Field Level Media
Trying to shake off loss, Timbers travel to face Quakes
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