Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese urged his side to improve when they host Philadelphia Union in MLS.

The Timbers failed to win on the road for a fifth straight game when they were defeated 3-2 by San Jose Earthquakes on Thursday.

Portland have dropped to 10th in the Western Conference, and Savarese called on his side to fight in their next outing with the Union.

“Whether you’re playing home or away, you need to make sure you are fighting to climb up the table,” Savarese said.

“We had opportunities against San Jose and we could have come away with points, but there are still some things that need to be a lot better.

“We need to take this on board going into the next game, we have another match to improve and we can’t be as open in the transitions because it can paralyze us.”

The Union remain top of the Eastern Conference despite playing out consecutive draws, the most recent of which against Inter Miami on Thursday, and coach Jim Curtin wants his team to bounce back.

“The message is that if we get everyone going good then you have to wonder if there is any other team better than us,” Curtin said.

“We have already seen a lot of the top teams already and we have played with them all in a pretty even to maybe even better than some of them.

“We are in a good spot but we know that we can do better.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Portland Timbers – Yimmi Chara

Yimmi Chara has been a creative and goalscoring force for the Timbers, with three goals and two assists to his name this season.

Philadelphia Union – Daniel Gazdag

Daniel Gazdag has been the man to provide the goals for the Union, leading the scoring charts for his club with six strikes this term.

KEY OPTA FACTS

·The Union recorded just their second win in 12 MLS matches against Portland with a 3-0 home victory last season (D3 L7, including MLS is Back). Philadelphia has managed just one point in five visits to Providence Park, a 1-1 draw in 2014.

·Following its 3-2 loss at San Jose on Wednesday, Portland now has three wins from its first 13 games of the season, equaling its fewest at this stage of a season (2012, 2014). There were 14 goals scored in Portland’s last two matches (9 scored, 5 conceded), the most in a two-match span in club history.

·The Union’s scoreless meeting with Inter Miami on Wednesday was the club’s fifth consecutive MLS draw. Philadelphia could become the fourth team in MLS history to play six straight regular season draws (Chicago 2014, Colorado 2011, San Jose 2004-2005).

·Bill Tuiloma has scored in consecutive matches for the first time in his career. Tuiloma has as many goals this season (4) has he had in his first four MLS seasons combined (1 each season).

·The Union’s scoreless draw with Miami on Wednesday ended a run of 25 straight MLS matches with a goal (incl. playoffs), the longest streak in club history. It’s been over four years since the Union have been shut out in consecutive games in a single season, last doing so in early May 2018.