Photograph Credit score:
Craig Mitchelldyer, PortlandTimbers.com
BEAVERTON, Ore. – It was one of many precept highlights of Jack Jewsbury’s laudable eleven-12 months MLS career.
It was 2004, and Jewsbury’s then-Kansas Metropolis Wizards had been heading into the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals of the MLS Cup playoffs trailing the San Jose Earthquakes by two targets in the mixture.
Within the memorable game at Arrowhead Stadium, a first-half goal by Kansas City rookie Khari Stephenson gave the Wizards life. Then a second-half personal purpose by San Jose’s Brian Ching appeared to have the game destined for extra time.
However Jewsbury, then in his second skilled season out of St. Louis University, grew to become the unlikely hero with an exhilarating stoppage-time aim that sent his crew to the MLS Cup final. Now Jewsbury’s Portland Timbers are in the identical situation after their four-2 loss to Real Salt Lake final Sunday in the first leg of the Westerm Conference Championship at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“I just remember once we were within the recreation and we have been in a position to get a goal in the first half, I feel that obviously modifications the game as a result of a two-purpose lead is a tricky one, you’re feeling pretty assured about where you’re at,” Jewsbury said, recalling that recreation in a conversation with MLSsoccer.com after Monday’s coaching session at the workforce facility. “But you get the primary one and the mindset modifications on either side.”
Even though Jewsbury stated there hasn’t been a lot discuss of the foremost hurdle the Timbers face heading into Sunday’s game at JELD-WEN Field (9 pm ET; ESPN, ESPN Deportes) and nor are his teammates asking about that sport in 2004, he did say he sees a lot of similarities in the two teams in how they’re approaching the challenge.
“It’s a very related locker room by way of there’s just a perception throughout the group,” Jewsbury stated. “No person is absolutely speaking about what a big surprise it will be if we had been in a position to overcome it. … It was a really arduous working trustworthy crew; it actually does remind me of this group, a very humble group and a group that was successful throughout the year. And it does have some mirror images of what this workforce stands for.”
And Jewsbury may very properly again play a key position if the Timbers are capable of match what the Wizards achieved nine years ago. The correct again has two assists within the playoffs after recording only one in the common season.
He said it’s been a mix of higher balls into the box on his part, timed with good runs and the protection collapsing on Portland’s harmful playmakers in the middle of the field, most notably Darlington Nagbe.
“We have now sufficient guys in the last third and our front 4 and five guys that they’ll create their very own probabilities. If there’s a chance to get ahead and get some balls in and create some chances, obviously I want to do that,” Jewsbury stated of his assists, which included the cross that set up the Timbers’ key second goal in stoppage time in opposition to RSL.
And in a game the place the Timbers will look to be on their front foot all night time, sending big numbers forward might imply one other situation for Jewsbury heroics.
“It’s a effective line since you wish to push forward and create chances,” he mentioned, “but on the end of the day, your first position is to stop them from scoring and maintaining a clear sheet.”