PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s the final week of the MLS regular season and the Timbers find themselves right in the thick of some pretty murky postseason waters.
Headed into decision day, five teams remain in the hunt for the final three playoff spots in the west.
With that many teams, there are a ton of scenarios. The most important one for the Timbers: Win and they are in.
“This is a playoff game,” said interim head coach Miles Joseph. “They need points just as much as we do because they want to position themselves as high up the table as they can, and we need to make the playoffs.”
A tie or a loss on Saturday leaves the Timbers’ postseason fate up in the air. That, according to Joseph, is all the incentive his team needs.
“At this point in the season, the game itself is motivation enough. You don’t have to get into too many other things. Records here and there, turf records, road, away,” said Joseph.
Their final game is against the Houston Dynamo, the team that shellacked Portland 5-0 and put the nail in the coffin for former coach Gio Savarese’s firing two months ago.
“I mean, it’s weird, you know?” said Timbers captain Diego Chara. “But at the same time, every game’s different. I think it’s going to be a difficult game, but I think we are ready to do it.”
To put it mildly, the team is hoping for a much different result against the Dynamo this time around.
“I think we’ll have something to prove against them. No matter which way you slice it, it’s an important match,” said Joseph.
The Portland Timbers host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday at 6 p.m.