The Portland Timbers' season so far has been a bit of a mixed bag. By all accounts they have played better, possessed better, and created more chances on goal than in years past. Unfortunately, their current record is still without any wins and that can create its own problem.
Here's Porter's own words on the matter:
You know I think we need a break. In all honesty, I'm new and these guys are new and we're all competitors and we all want to win and we haven't won so it creates a bit of a frustration. You could see that a little bit in the first half [of the Colorado game] when we gave up again the first goal and all the guys, for the first time, their heads went down a little bit. We sorted that out at half time and the mentality was much better in the second half. So I think it's just getting that first goal, which we haven't gotten, and getting that first win and I think this whole thing will start to snowball.
I think we can all relate to this, whether we are involved in professional sports or not. Winning, be it in soccer or just a normal job, can make or break an experience. While the Timbers have lost just a single time in their first four appearances, the fact that they have yet to shut out an opponent, have yet to score first, and have yet to earn their first full three points is certainly something I'm sure each player thinks about daily.
The good news is that soccer clubs typically run in waves of hot and cold. Unless you have a particularly great team (and even then sometimes not) you're bound to run cold eventually. Likewise, unless you have a particularly bad team, you're bound to run hot eventually. If the Timbers can earn that first goal, that first shut out, and that first win, Porter is right in assuming that it could help open the floodgates.
Soccer is a frustrating sport. Sometimes it takes a while to break out of whatever is frustrating the team. In 2009, the LA Galaxy had 9 draws, 1 loss and 1 win to their name. In their 12th game, they went to Toronto FC and won their first match in over a month and went on to take first place in the Western Conference, missing out on the Supporters' Shield by just a single point. They also went on to MLS Cup where they lost to Real Salt Lake.
I bring this up because it's a prime example of what can happen when a team does break through. The Timbers are a good team. All the stats prove it. They just need to catch a break and "start to snowball" as Porter states it.
What do you think of the chances that a win can really open up the Timbers' results? Do you think they're capable of a successful season?
Watch the full interview: