Are the Portland Timbers Doomed for the Rest of 2024?

With a third of the season gone, and the Portland Timbers sitting in second to last in the Western Conference, are the Portland Timbers done in 2024?
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Maybe They Aren’t That Good

May 12, 2024; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Timbers forward Jonathan Rodriguez (14) reacts after
May 12, 2024; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Timbers forward Jonathan Rodriguez (14) reacts after / Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

There has been much talk about the “potential” of this Timbers team all season. Neville has mentioned at the end of every press conference following a loss that, “things are going to turn around” and for the Timbers Army to be “patient.” Well, what if it’s just not the Timbers year? 

Neville reminded the supporters again after the loss to Seattle to stick with them. “The one thing I'm absolutely convinced of is that we will get this right. I'm more convinced today than I've ever been.” He reiterated this point later in the press conference, “I want [the supporters] to stick with us now because we will get this right, trust me we will get this right. 

The horse is dead. There is no point in continuing to beat it. As it stands Neville has already lost some of the support of the Timber’s army, and it could get worse with these performances from his team. 

While the talent is undeniably there, perhaps that talent needs a year to gel under Neville’s new system. It is also possible that some of these players currently on the roster aren’t the best fit for said system, and new players will need to be brought in during the transfer window. If that is the case, Timbers Army have a very long season ahead of them.

Can they Turn it around?

All this is to ask: Can the Portland Timbers still make the playoffs? If everything continues as is, then the answer is no. Fortunately for Portland, the MLS season is long, and nine out of 14 teams will make the postseason in the Western Conference.

One good run to get you into the play-in game as the ninth seed. The 2023 version of Sporting Kansas City is proof you can do that. Some of the problems that are plaguing the Timbers are not going to be an overnight fix. It might be time to panic. 

Neville believes it’s time to hit the panic button on the season. “Look I think, I think we are at that point now.” If that is the case, Neville needs to make changes that will save the season and, his job.