After finally beating the Colorado Rapids, the Portland Timbers have won back-to-back games for the first time this season. Whether the momentum is enough to lead to their first road win of 2012 remains to be seen.
The Timbers hope to earn that elusive road triumph Wednesday night when they try for the club's first-ever three-game winning streak and a second victory over the Rapids in six days.
Portland (7-13-6) snapped an eight-game winless stretch with a 2-1 victory over Vancouver on Aug. 25, then followed with a 1-0 win over Colorado on Friday. The Timbers' first victory in four tries against the Rapids moved them one point ahead of Colorado and out of last place in the Western Conference.
This marks the fourth time in the Timbers' two-year existence that they will try to win three in a row.
Making his third consecutive start after spending most of the season on loan to the Los Angeles Blues of the USL Pro, Bright Dike scored for the second time in his four 2012 appearances for Portland just before halftime Friday.
"Once we got the goal, we played well enough the rest of the way to get the win," said midfielder Sal Zizzo, who has recorded all three of his assists this year over the last three matches.
Friday was the first time in 16 matches since a scoreless draw at Houston on May 15 that the Timbers did not allow a goal.
"To get a shutout is always a good feeling," goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts said. "It means you are doing something right."
Portland is still 0-9-5 away from home since a 1-0 victory at Vancouver on Oct. 2, and 2-18-9 on the road since entering MLS.
The Rapids (8-17-2), though, are mired in a 1-9-1 stretch since a 3-0 home victory over Portland on June 30. Colorado had outscored the Timbers 7-1 while winning the first three meetings between the sides before Friday's defeat, but it won't have to wait long for a shot at revenge.
"We got to put it behind us," defender Drew Moor told the Rapids' official website. "They have to come to our place. Quick turnarounds are usually good after performances like this where you play well and you don't get the result because you get to put it behind you quick and move forward and look forward to it."
Colorado midfielder Jaime Castrillon leads the team with a career-high six goals, but has only one in eight matches since scoring against the Timbers in June.