Minnesota United played on without starting goalkeeper Tyler Miller in Sunday's first-round playoff game after he had started all but the regular season's first four games.
Miller tweeted before a 3-1 loss at Portland that he tested positive for COVID-19 and wouldn't play.
Miller called himself "gutted to not be there with the boys in Portland but all the confidence they can get the job done, and I'll be back soon as possible!"
Dayne St. Clair started instead. St. Clair hadn't played for the Loons since a May 8 loss at Colorado, the last game in that four-game losing streak that started the season.
Miller had started every game since then. He replaced St. Clair asstarter with a 1-0 victory over Vancouver on May 12 at Allianz Field and went on to set a personal best 11 shutouts that also tied Vito Mannone's club record.
"It's not ideal, obviously," Loons coach Adrian Heath said. "Then you worry one or two others could be affected. You don't want the threat of any more players going down with it."
The Timbers scored three consecutive goals — including one just before halftime and another just after — after the Loons scored in the 11thminute.
"Dayne is a quality goalkeeper. I thought Dayne was smashing today," Heath said.I don't think we can blame him for anything today. I don't think any of the goals he could have done anything about."
St. Clair started last year's shortened-season's final 16 games — including all of a playoff run to the Western Conference final at Seattle — after Miller had surgery on both hips in August.
"We trust Dayne, of course," Loons veteran midfielder Wil Trapp said. "You saw it last year in the playoffs. He stepped up big for this group. The team had full confidence in him, but it's never easy to come in like that. Six or seven months later, you're stepping back into the team. It's impressive for him. Ultimately, it's not just about one player."
Hassani Dotson replaced Romain Metanire at right back in the 56thminute after he had gone down in pain twice clutching his hamstring.
He is one of three starters who returned mid-week from playing for their national teams overseas.
Center-back Michael Boxall and winger Robin Lod did so as well.
Heath's only lineup change from Decision Day in Los Angeles two weeks ago was Ozzie Alonso's return to play alongside Trapp. Dotson was designated a sub until Heath sent him into the game for Metanire.
Veteranmidfielder Ethan Finlay didn't accompany the Loons to Portland because of a concussion suffered in training during the week.
"We thought he'd be OK," Heath said. "He suffered a little bit of a reoccurrence during the week. Obviously with the concussion protocol, we can't play players when they're not their best to play."