Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter will have a big win on his hands if he can hold onto his job as the team moves into the postseason.
The Timbers beat the Houston Dynamo 2-1 on Sunday to move up to second place in the Western Conference and will now face off against the Colorado Rapids on Sunday afternoon at Providence Park.
“They’re playing pretty good soccer,” Porter said after the win.
“It’s one of those things where if we can get a win, I think we can go up there and play for the championship.”
The Timbers are hoping to get a bit of revenge for the Colorado victory.
After falling to the Sounders 2-0 in the first round last season, Portland pulled off a 4-1 win in the conference finals.
“We played pretty good football,” Porter added.
“But you can never be complacent in the playoffs.”
The victory comes on the heels of a 5-0 victory over the Houston Dash on Saturday.
Porter said that the win over Houston was a good sign that the team was still “a little bit of a ways away” from a playoff berth.
“I’m pleased with the way that we played and what we did,” Porter continued.
“The first game, we didn’t have much confidence.
It was just a matter of getting it right the second game.
But it’s just good to be in a position where we have confidence that we can come out and compete and be the best team in the league.”
In the end, it was the defense of defender Diego Valeri that helped the Timbers win.
In just the second half, Valeri’s assist on a Sebastian Blanco penalty shot gave the Timbers a 2-2 draw.
After the match, Porter praised Valeri for his performance.
“He had a great game tonight,” Porter remarked.
“Valeri is the difference.
He made a couple of great saves.”
Porter’s team will look to repeat their performance from the first leg against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday.
After finishing second in the West in 2016, Portland will look for a second straight year to make the playoffs after finishing third in 2016.
“This team, this team has got a great mentality,” Porter stated.
“When they play together and you see that, it shows that they are ready to play.”