A draw is not a win. In some scenarios a draw can certainly feel like a win, like when the USMNT earned a point against Mexico at Estadio Azteca a couple weeks ago, but it's certainly not the same as a out and out win. That said, for the Portland Timbers, a draw on the road is a huge improvement over what we've come to expect from the team in recent years.
Throughout the 2012 season there was a headline already being worked into every journalists imagined post game story whenever the Timbers played on the road. Sure it varied a little bit in basic wording, but the theme remained the same: the Timbers could not play away from home. It's essentially been meshed into the fabric of the team since their first season in MLS. 2013, however, seems to have the makings of a new headline.
So far, in four games played, two of those have been on the road. The first against arch-rivals the Seattle Sounders and the second against the Colorado Rapids. Both games ended in a draw, giving the Timbers two of a possible six points. That might not sound like a great result, but when compared to 2012 it's a huge improvement.
Throughout the 2012 season the Timbers won just a single road game against the Vancouver Whitecaps in October. That fact is well known and well publicized. What was rarely ever mentioned however was that they also had trouble even drawing teams. Throughout 2012 they drew just four clubs on the road: FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Toronto FC and the San Jose Earthquakes. In their first two away games in 2013 they're already at half their 2012 record. Regardless that they only earned a two points in two games, that's a significant improvement.
There's still a lot of work left to do for the Timbers. The slow starts are a worrying trend and the team still has to find a consistent attacking edge. But their never-say-die attitude has earned them two well earned points away from home. If they can keep that up and even get a few road wins here and there, the 2013 season should prove to be a much more exciting affair than 2012.
What do you think of the Timbers' road performances so far? Are you predicting better road results in 2013?