Portland Timbers Vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 2011 MLS: Late Equalizer Ruins Rose City's Day

It was all setting up perfectly for the Portland Timbers and their quest to make the playoffs in their first year. DC United blew a 2-0 lead a tied Chivas USA. The New York Red Bulls were thumped by the Real Salt Lake. A Timbers win over the San Jose Earthquakes would put them three points clear of their closest competition in the race for the final playoff spot.

Instead, the Timbers were forced to settle for a 1-1 tie on Wednesday after Khair Stephenson scored a 70th minute equalizer. The point still puts the Timbers in playoff position, but their standing there is much more precarious now. Of their five remaining games, four of them are on the road where the Timbers have claimed just seven points all season. The first of those five games will come on Saturday when the Timbers visit the Red Bulls in a game with enormous playoff implications. 

Holding onto their lead in this game would have definitely made the Timbers' lives much easier. Kenny Cooper scored a 9th minute goal off an assist from Darlington Nagbe.

Although the Timbers came close to expanding on their lead a couple times, Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch was able to keep it a one-goal game. His best save of the match came just a few minutes after Cooper's goal when he stopped a near-point blank attempt from Nagbe. Busch made six saves in the game.

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