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Timbers-Earthquakes Preview

By MATT BECKER

STATS Senior Writer

(AP) -- Four times this season the San Jose Earthquakes have reeled off three consecutive wins, but they've been unable to extend that run to four.

A home match against the Portland Timbers should help in this endeavor.

The Western Conference-leading Earthquakes try to make it four in a row for the first time in seven years Wednesday night against the last-place Timbers, who are winless on the road.

San Jose (17-6-5) extended its West lead over Seattle to eight points with Saturday's 2-0 win over Chivas USA. The Earthquakes, who have already clinched a playoff berth, got goals from Chris Wondolowski and Alan Gordon, which shouldn't be much of a surprise.

The duo has accounted for more than half of San Jose's 58 MLS goals, as Wondolowski leads the league with 19 and Gordon has added 12.

Against Chivas, Wondolowski scored on a penalty kick in the first half and Gordon added a goal in the 49th minute for the Earthquakes, who've outscored their opponents 10-1 in winning their last three matches.

Although San Jose is 0-1-2 all-time against Portland, it seems to have a good shot of extending its winning streak to four for the first time since a six-game run in 2005.

The Earthquakes are 9-0-3 in their last 12 home matches, and in the last seven at Buck Shaw Stadium, they've totaled 22 goals while winning six.

That doesn't bode well for Portland (7-14-7), which has been outscored 28-6 in going 0-10-3 on the road.

Although the Timbers are tied with Chivas for the West's worst record, they did San Jose a favor Saturday, playing Seattle to a 1-all draw in the Cascadia Cup. Portland rallied after the Sounders scored in the 56th minute, as midfielder Rodney Wallace headed in a corner kick 22 minutes later to help the Timbers improve to 2-1-1 in their last four.

"I think we have a belief in one another that maybe we didn't have earlier in the season, that we're not going to put our heads down when we go down a goal, and give up a second and third," midfielder Jack Jewsbury said. "We have the belief in one another, and this is a confident group. I think we're playing well, and maybe on another day, we get out of here with three points."

The Timbers, who have just two road wins in their two-year franchise history (2-19-9), got three points in the season's first meeting with San Jose on July 3. Jewsbury and Danny Mwanga each had goals for Portland, while Gordon scored for the Earthquakes.

Updated September 18, 2012

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