Today we embark upon our last West Coast trip of the 2011 season. I’m hoping it ends differently than our last nine trips to the Pacific Time Zone.
The Revs haven’t crossed the country and returned with three points since Aug. 20, 2009, when they claimed a 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC in their first-ever visit to CenturyLink (then Qwest) Field. They’ve made the journey nine times in the two years since, going 0-7-2, with the two draws coming earlier this season on trips to face the LA Galaxy (1-1 on March 20) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1-1 on April 6).
Obviously the goal will be to snap that streak in Portland, where we’ll head late this afternoon ahead of Friday night’s nationally-televised meeting with the expansion Timbers (11 p.m. ET, TV: FOX Soccer, Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub). The Revs and Timbers haven’t played since the early weeks of the season, when Stephen McCarthy and Jack Jewsbury traded first-half goals in a 1-1 draw at Gillette Stadium on April 2.
The stakes are raised this time around as the Revs are aiming to pull themselves back into postseason contention following last weekend’s 2-0 win over FC Dallas, while the Timbers are trying to force their way into the final wildcard playoff spot as they sit just one point back of the current holder of that place, D.C. United.
From what we’ve seen on TV and heard from those who’ve been there, the atmosphere at JELD-WEN Field should be absolutely electric on Friday night. I spoke with a few of the players earlier this week about playing in such an environment, and they expressed their excitement and their desire to hopefully quiet the Timbers faithful with a goal or two in the early stages.
The Revs will have a chance to train at JELD-WEN Field ahead of the match with an afternoon session scheduled for Thursday, and we’ll have coverage from Portland. As always, we’ll also have our usual slate of game day coverage on Friday, so check out revolutionsoccer.net in the coming days.