The Portland Timbers have yet to put together a regular season three game winning streak since joining MLS. In Friday night's match against Real Salt Lake they will have their
eighth ninth chance to get to the three match mark. It will be only their second attempt at home and their first attempt against RSL.
What happened in each of the previous seven matches when the Timbers had a chance to get to three wins in a row?
3-0 Loss at LA Galaxy
Coming off a pair of home wins in their first two matches at then-Jeld-Wen Field, the Timbers went back on the road and promptly were destroyed by a Galaxy side that would go on to win the double, taking home the MLS Cup and Supporters' Shield at the end of the year.
Landon Donovan was the primary architect of the Timbers' demise, notching an assist on Chad Barrett's opener and putting away the second and third himself. In goal for the Galaxy, making six saves to keep the clean sheet, was Donovan Ricketts.
1-1 Draw at Seattle Sounders
I initially skipped this one due to the Timbers' Open Cup match against the San Jose Earthquakes. Thanks greenlinearmy for pointing it out.
Bouncing back from the above 3-0 loss, the Timbers immediately put up two more wins, although they were interrupted by an Open Cup loss to the San Jose Earthquakes. The third game in the series, however, was the Timbers' first Cascadia rivalry match of the MLS era and saw the Timbers head to Seattle for a rain-soaked 90'.
Although the Sounders scored first, it was the Timbers who scored last, grabbing a 1-1 draw thanks to a 65' header from Futty Danso that had the Timbers Army dancing in the stands for the rest of the night.
The night was so wet that a complaint about the conditions from Sigi Schmidt prompted John Spencer to remark, "the next time we go up there we'll take plenty of towels for them so we can dry off the field before the game. Maybe take plenty of tissue paper so they can dry their eyes after the game."
0-0 Draw at Philadelphia Union
Having made their way through a busy August with a record of 3-2-1, including two wins to close out the month, the Timbers found themselves outside the playoff picture, looking up at the red line in the month of September.
Although they continued their unbeaten run, which would eventually stretch to five games before being ended by the New York Red Bulls, the Timbers were not able to overcome the second-year expansion side, the Philadelphia Union.
Troy Perkins earned the shutout on the night, with his biggest save coming at the expense of future-Timber Danny Mwanga.
3-0 Loss at Colorado Rapids
Wins were a scarce commodity for the Timbers in 2012, so to pick up a pair of them was certainly novel. Since it was 2012, and 2012 was terrible, the winning streak could not continue despite the uptick in the Timbers' fourtunes following the firing of John Spencer in June of that year.
With the Timbers on the road in Colorado, a place that every Timbers fan now fears instinctively, the Portland defense went to pieces against a team immediately above them in the standings. The match started off with an early, 6' goal scored by Andre Akpan, then another in the 27' by Tony Cascio, and the third at the death by Jaime Castrillion.
The match helped Diego Chara earn his reputation as a non-scorer of goals, getting shut down one on one by keeper Matt Pickens in one of the Timbers' only real opportunities to turn the match around.
1-1 Draw at San Jose Earthquakes
The Timbers' second match in a row against the 'Quakes came five games in to the Timbers' eventual fifteen game unbeaten run. Although the Timbers lead for much of the match thanks to a 58' strike from Diego Valeri, they could not hold on through second half stoppage time.
In the 92' of the match rookie Adam Jahn, who did exactly nothing in the Timbers' most recent match against the Earthquakes last Wednesday, fired home past Donovan Ricketts, ending a 222' shutout streak and pulling a point back for San Jose.
2-2 Draw to Vancouver Whitecaps
In the middle of the hunt for the Supporters' Shield and one win away from retaining the Cascadia Cup, the Portland Timbers two lost points here could have gone a long way toward both.
While the Timbers got goals from Darlington Nagbe and Will Johnson, it was the second goal from Vancouver's Camilo that this game will be remembered for; a volleyed cross from fullback Young-Pyo Lee found Camilo at the top of the box where the inventive Brazilian struck a flying side-volley that curved around Donovan Ricketts into the net. The unstoppable strike would late be voted the goal of the year.
4-3 Loss vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
The Timbers scored first in this one, then completely self-destructed, helped by some not-so-friendly calls from referee Kevin Stott including two penalties awarded to Vancouver. From up 1-0 to down 4-1, the Timbers tried to battle back in this one, but could not make up the three goal defecit.
Notably, this was the second match in 2014 in which the Timbers gave up a pair of penalty kicks. The first game was the Timbers' Match loss to Colorado, that time refereed by Mark Geiger.
3-1 Loss at LA Galaxy
Only two months ago, the Timbers were working their way up the ladder, getting tantalizing glimpses of the red line after starting off in a remarkably deep hole.
Having won a pair of matches against bottom feeders Colorado and Montreal, the Timbers found themselves up against the surging LA Galaxy. As in so many other game in the 2014 season, the Timbers took a lead early on, but could not hold it, giving up a goal Gyassi Zardes and a brace to Robbie Keane.