Another No. 1 bites the dust

Timbers beat another top-ranked team, this time San Jose, 2-1
July 3, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning,

For the second time this season, the Portland Timbers showed off they can play with the best teams in the league - at home, and beat San Jose 2-1 Tuesday night at Jeld-Wen Field.

Danny Mwanga, brought in for his scoring just a month ago, and Jack Jewsbury, moved from midfield to the backline earlier in the year, both scored to highlight a dazzling effort from a team that got pounded at Colorado just three days earlier.

The win gave Portland (5-7-4, 19 points) three much-need points in the Western Conference against a San Jose team (11-4-3, 36 points) ranked No. 1 in the MLS Power Rankings and coming off a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy played before more than 50,000 fans.

"They're the hottest team in the league, so this is a great win for us," Portland coach John Spencer said. "Playing at home, in this environment puts so much energy in our guys. It really makes a huge difference in our play."

Portland beat Sporting Kansas City 1-0 on April 21 when KC entered No. 1 and the Timbers had just lost 3-1 at Los Angeles to fall to 1-4-1.

Most observers expected the Timbers to lose Tuesday night, especially after Saturday's loss that dropped the team from No. 16 to 18 in the league rankings, ahead of only FC Dallas.

"We knew coming in that we had some things to prove, and we needed to show that on the field," Jewsbury said. "It feels great to have played the way we played and got a win over such a strong team."

Next up, Portland plays at Real Salt Lake, which is second in the Western Conference standings at 10-6-2, 32 points, and ranked No. 4.

Mwanga, acquired in a trade with Philadelphia, scored off an assist by Frank Songo'o in the 29th minute, ending a scoreless streak of more than a year for the former Jefferson High and Oregon State standout.

Jewsbury added a score in the 59 minute, finishing a wild play in front of the San Jose goal that started off a Portland free kick.

San Jose got a score from Alan Gordon in the 74th minutes, but could not get another quality shot toward Portland keeper Troy Perkins.

The Timbers improved to 5-2-2 at home, where they've scored 14 of their 16 total goals this season.