Asprilla nets his first goal as the difference in the game
April 19, 2015 / Associated Press
NEW YORK – Dairon Asprilla’s 79th-minute strike, his first career Major League Soccer goal, lifted the Portland Timbers to a 1-0 win over New York City FC Sunday night at Yankee Stadium.
Darlington Nagbe started the sequence with a penetrating run through midfield. NYCFC were unable to clear at the top of the box and the ball fell to Asprilla, whose shot took a deflection off defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe and in.
Rookie Khiry Shelton had two terrific opportunities to equalize in the 88th minute, but his shot from 16 yards was right at goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey. Seconds later, Shelton was played in by Pablo Alvarez, but Kwarasey came off his line to make a heroic save.
After a scoreless first half, Portland (2-2-3) had a golden chance two minutes into the second half when miscommunication between Chris Wingert and Josh Saunders resulted in a deliberate back pass and an indirect free kick from the edge of the box.
Nagbe’s attempt, though, deflected off defender Watson-Siriboe at the end of the wall for a Portland corner.
In the 58th minute, Patrick Mullins forced Kwarasey to dive to his left to save his low shot before Liam Ridgewell cleared.
Saunders came up big for NYCFC (1-3-3) in the 69th minute when he came off his line to challenge Ishmael Yartey, who was played in behind on a clever Nagbe chip. The rebound popped to Fanendo Adi, but Jeb Brovsky slid in to avert the danger.
Nagbe again turned provider in the 75th minute, slotting to an open Adi on the left, but the Nigerian Designated Player had his low shot blocked by Watson-Siriboe for a corner.
Three minutes later, Mullins had an open header on the other end after latching onto a Brovsky cross, but the forward headed over the bar.
The game’s first quality scoring chance went to NYCFC in the 16th minute when Shelton fed Mullins, who took a touch inside the box and lashed a shot from 17 yards out on frame. But Kwarasey parried it away for a corner.
In the 31st minute, Mehdi Ballouchy nearly notched his second goal in as many games when a deflected Portland clearance fell at his feet. But the Moroccan midfielder’s shot from 14 yards was blocked by Nat Borchers, resulting in another corner.
Kreis, who was already missing regular starters David Villa (hamstring), Mix Diskerud (ankle), Jason Hernandez (calf) and Josh Williams (adductor strain), was forced to make his first change in the 35th minute when Sebastian Velasquez replaced Tony Taylor, who was stretchered off with an apparent knee injury.
New York City FC will look to snap a five-game winless streak when they head to Chicago to take on the Fire Friday (8 pm ET, Univision Deportes), while the
The Timbers return to action Sunday at Seattle, with the Cascadia Cup match set for 6:30 p.m.
New York City is scheduled to play at Chicago Friday.
Portland dominates the stats, but can't score against Real Salt Lake
March 7, 2015 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
PORTLAND - The Portland Timbers showed they will be a team with plenty of heart and hustle in their season opener Saturday night. Now, they just need to show off they can score and win.
In an entertaining, but eventually frustrating performance, the Timbers finished in a 0-0 tie with Real Salt Lake in the Major League Soccer opening round before another sold-out crowd at Providence Park.
Portland outshot the visitors 18-9, had an 11-0 edge in corner kicks and played defense that allowed goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey to stay upright the entire evening.
“I love how we played,” Portland coach Caleb Porter said afterward. “That’s why it’s so frustrating that we didn’t win.
“I don’t know how we didn’t win that game.”
Both teams managed a point, and face each other again Aug. 15 in Salt Lake City.
Portland returns to action March 15 at home against the defending MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy.
Both teams showed some midseason emotion in the first half, when there were three yellow cards handed out. The Timbers had three solid chances to score, including a header by Aspirilla that missed wide by only a foot in the 29th minute.
But no goals.
Portland dominated most of the second half with its energy and solid passing - leading 12-3 at one point in shots. Midfielder Rodney Wallace played a significant role in the offense with four shots, two more than starting forward Fanendo Adi.
Kwarasey made two saves.
Portland finished last year with 13 draws out of 34 games, one of five teams to finish with more draws than wins. Only one of the teams, Vancouver, reached the playoffs, and they were fifth in the Western Conference.
A 3-0 win over San Jose puts Timbers back into fifth place
Oct. 8, 2014
PORTLAND - The Portland Timbers beat San Jose for the second time in consecutive games thanks with a 3-0 win Wednesday night at Providence Park on a first-half goal from Rodney Wallace and two second-half goals by Diego Valeri.
With the three points, Portland temporarily moves two points ahead of the Vancouver Whitecaps for the fifth and final postseason spot in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference with two games remaining.
The Whitecaps face the playoff-bound Seattle Sounders on the road Friday in the first of their final three regular-season games.
Wallace sparked the Timbers for the second consecutive game. His two goals gave Portland a comeback, 2-1 win Saturday over San Jose that eliminated the Quakes from playoff contention.
On Wednesday, playing before another packed house, Wallace took a pass from Darlington Nagbe and launched a point-blank shot from the left side across the goal for a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute.
Then, Valeri took over, scoring in the 51st and 73rd minutes.
Portland owned much of the game, firing off 20 shots, including 10 that needed saving. San Jose did not get a shot on goal, allowing Donovan Ricketts to earn his fifth shutout of the season.
The Timbers play again Oct. 17 against playoff-bound Real Salt Lake in their final home game of the regular season, then close the regular season at playoff-bound FC Dallas, Oct. 25.
In between the final two games, the Timbers play CD Olimpia in Honduras in their CONCACAF Group final game.
Portland's victory Saturday boosts it within a win of post-season play
Aug. 9, 2014 / Associated Press
PORTLAND - Diego Valeri has had quite a week.
First he got the assist on Landon Donovan’s game-winning goal in the MLS All-Star game victory over German power Bayern Munich.
Then he scored his fourth goal in four games as the Portland Timbers beat struggling Chivas USA 2-0 on Saturday night.
“It was a special week. Obviously the most important is this win because we needed that. But the All-Star game — that was obviously special to me,” Valeri said.
Rodney Wallace also scored in Portland’s third victory at home this season. The win gave Portland (7-7-9) a share of fifth place in the Western Conference with 11 matches left.
Chivas (6-11-5), sitting in last place in the West, has lost four straight after a four-game winning streak.
“It didn’t go well for us in the first half. We were very tentative with the ball and we lost the ball in transition, and they took advantage of that,” Chivas coach Wilmer Cabrera said.
Earlier this week the focus was on Portland because of the Major League Soccer All-Star game at Providence Park.
Timbers coach Caleb Porter led the All-Stars to a 2-1 victory Wednesday night over Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich. Donovan scored the winning goal in his record 14th All-Star game appearance, and the next day the Galaxy forward announced he was retiring from soccer at the end of this season.
The Timbers had three players on the All-Star roster, including Valeri, but then it was back to business quickly as the team makes the push toward the playoffs.
Portland's big win Friday sparks second-half optimism
July 21, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
After a disappointing first half of the Major League Soccer season, the Portland Timbers reached a measure of satisfaction Friday with a pair of second-half goals that resulted in a huge win - at home.
While most teams, in every sport, feature better records at home, the Timbers have struggled throughout the season with home games, where sold-out crowds have watched as they've rallied to simply tie games.
Friday, though, the Timbers rallied from a deficit, and then won on a pair of memorable goals that boosted the team to a record of two wins, two losses and seven draws at Providence Park.
Overall, the team is 5-6-9, 24 points with 14 games left in the regular season. Portland sits in seventh place in the nine team Western Conference, but is just one win from reaching fourth place and a playoff spot.
Sunday, they play host to Montreal at 5 p.m. The Impact sits in 10th place in the Eastern Conference at 3-10-5, 18 points, and has been outscored by 13 goals on the season.
Portland then heads to Los Angeles for an Aug. 2 game against the Galaxy, which is 7-4-6, 27 points. The game will be televised by NBC at 11:30 a.m.
A first-half score is all Portland needs to move to top of MLS
Oct. 14, 2013
The Portland Timbers’ late-season Supporters’ Shield push got a huge boost with an impassioned 1-0 victory on Sunday evening over Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders at a raucous JELD-WEN Field, all but securing their first-ever spot in the MLS playoffs.
A goal by midfielder Kalif Alhassan right before the halftime whistle was all Portland needed – not to mention two Seattle shots that drew woodwork – to not only leapfrog the skidding Sounders but also Real Salt Lake to the top of the Western Conference standings.
The Timbers are now tied on points with the New York Red Bulls with 53 points from 32 games, although New York hold the tiebreaker with more wins.
Seattle’s remarkable slide continues as they are now winless in their last five matches, including three straight losses by a combined score of 10-2, dropping them to third place in the West with 51 points from 32 games.
And true to the rivalry between the two clubs, a late fracas broke out after a hard foul on Timbers forward Darlington Nagbe in the 73rd minute. It resulted in Sounders captain Osvaldo Alonso being shown red for an elbow to the face of his counterpart Will Johnson.
Seattle were unable to take advantage of Clint Dempsey’s first start for the club since Aug. 31. The U.S. national team captain has been limited for more than a month with a hamstring injury, which has also kept him out of the USMNT’s final two World Cup qualifiers. He also appeared to pick up another knock when he began to favor his right shoulder early in the match, having to go to the touchline several times to receive treatment.
The Sounders also made a change in the net with veteran goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann taking over for normal starter Michael Gspurning, who fell out of favor after allowing nine goals in his previous two matches.
But it was of no use on the game’s only goal when a Jack Jewsbury ball into the box deflected to an open Alhassan, who fired a missile from about 20 yards out past a hapless Hahnemann.
Seattle put together the game’s first real threat of the night when Lamar Neagle nearly headed home a Mauro Rosales free kick in the 13th minute, requiring a lunging save by Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
And on the ensuing corner kick, Dempsey nearly opened his account with the Sounders. But his header clanged off the crossbar.
Despite controlling much of the early action, Portland hung on for a frantic final 20 minutes as the 10-man Sounders desperately pushed for the equalizer. And they nearly got it when a Steve Zakuani shot pinged off the crossbar in the first minute of stoppage time.
The Timbers win also means the Vancouver Whitecaps officially win the Cascadia Cup, the regional derby among the three Pacific Northwest clubs, for the first time since joining MLS.
Portland next play host to Real Salt Lake on Oct. 20 in a top-of-the-table clash at JELD-WEN Field. Seattle next play at FC Dallas on the same day.
Portland ties Vancouver, takes another step toward playoff berth
Oct. 6, 1013
The Portland Timbers missed their chance to move to the top of the Western Conference Sunday, but a 2-2 draw at Vancouver still helped their drive to their first MLS playoff berth.
Darlington Nagbe and Will Johnson both scored and assisted on each others' goal as the team battled with their Northwest rival.
With the draw, Portland improved to 12-5-14, for 50 points, while Vancouver improved to 11-11-9, 42 points.
A victory would have moved the Timbers into a tie for first with Real Salt Lake at 52 points, but the draw kept them in third place, one point behind Seattle, which lost to Colorado 5-1 Saturday night.
Portland plays host to Seattle and Salt Lake the next two weekends. The Timbers are six points ahead of sixth-place San Jose with each team having three games left on their schedule. Vancouver is seventh.
The draw did eliminate the Timbers from defending the Cascadia Cup against the Whitecaps and Sounders.
Nagbe scored the opening goal in the 41st minute off an assist by Johnson. The teams battled evenly into the second half, when Vancouver's Camilo Da Silva Sanvezzo scored in the 76th minute, sparking a run of three goals in three minutes. Johnson put Portland back in front off an assist by Nagbe in the 77th minute, then Da Silva Sanvezzo tallied the second time to make the match all square.
Johnson, Nagbe score in playoff-caliber home win over FC Dallas
Aug. 17, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Jregonsports Journal
The MLS Playoffs may still be two months away, but in the tightly-packed Western Conference the atmosphere is playoff-level from now on, and the Portland Timbers played up to that level Saturday night at Jeld-Wen Field.
The result, in a very physical outing, was a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas, one that moved the Timbers into third place with 38 points, just three points behind Real Salt Lake, which lost to the LA Galaxy Saturday. Between the teams are the Colorado Rapids, who are at 39 points.
Portland improved to 9-3-11, 38 points with a home match against RSL Wednesday.
Dallas, which led the Western Conference through midseason, dropped to 8-7-9, 33 points, having not won a game since May 25.
Both Portland goals were assisted by Diego Valeri.
Johnson scored his team-leading eighth goal off a corner from Valeri in the 27th minute, but Dallas countered just a minute later to tie the score. Nagbe then put away his seventh goal of the year off a stellar pass from Valeri that he blasted past Dallas keeper Raul Fernandez for the game's final score.
Ricketts earns another shutout as Portland draws on the road again
July 20, 2013
CHESTER, Pa. – A lightning delay stopped the game for nearly an hour and both goalkeepers stopped every shot fired their way as the Philadelphia Union and visiting Portland Timbers battled to a scoreless draw Saturday at PPL Park.
Philadelphia’s Zac MacMath and Portland’s Donovan Ricketts finished with four saves apiece, many of them coming on close-range shots. Ricketts’ shutout marks his ninth clean sheet of the campaign, tied for the most in MLS this season. Featuring two of the top scoring teams in the league, the Timbers and Union combined for 30 shots.
With the result, the Union (8-6-7) extended their home unbeaten streak to five games while the Timbers (8-2-10) earned their eighth road draw in 11 games this season. The Timbers have still never lost to the Union in four all-time matchups.
Following the lengthy halftime weather delay, both teams came out of the locker room pressing hard for the game’s first goal.
Ricketts made one of the biggest saves of the night in the 71st minute, leaping to stop a Conor Casey blast following a great ball from Jack McInerney.
The Union had other chances to score before the final whistle but a sneaky long-range chip shot from Sheanon Williams just missed in the 77th minute and second-half sub Leo Fernandes pinged one from distance off the crossbar in the 88th minute.
Earlier, in the 55th minute, MacMath made a huge save on Portland’s Diego Valeri, who made a quick turn and fired a close-range shot inside the box. MacMath also smothered a long free kick from Frederique Piquionne in the 63rd minute and pounced on a loose ball minutes later.
In the first half, MacMath made a big foot save on Ryan Johnson in the 24th minute and thwarted a sliding shot from Jack Jewsbury four minutes later.
For the Union, Danny Cruz created the most offense before the break. Despite being leveled by Ricketts in the 32nd minute, the Union winger split a pair of defenders at the edge of the box juts minutes before putting a big shot on net that Ricketts saved. Cruz finished the first half with four shots.
Both teams got a boost with Timbers midfielder Will Johnson and McInerney returning from Gold Cup duty.
The Union, though, were without manager John Hackworth, who was serving a one-game suspension for getting ejected in last week’s game. Top assistant Rob Vartughian coached the team in his place.
Both teams return to action next Saturday with the Union traveling to Vancouver and Portland facing San Jose on the road.
The Portland Timbers owning their competition ... on the road?
A year after rarely even scoring on the road, the Timbers are the best team in Major League soccer away from their home field after a 2-0 win in Washington, D.C., over DC United Saturday.
Will Johnson and Darlington Nagbe scored and the Portland defense again proved spectacular as the Timbers improved to 5-1-7 overall for 22 points in the MLS standings.
Of the teams' 13 games, its lone loss came to Montreal at home in the second game of the season. On the road, Portland is 2-0-5 and has scored 12 goals in seven road games. Portland scored just 10 goals in 17 road games in each of its first two seasons.
In terms of goal differntial in road games, Portland ranks first with a +3 rating.
The Timbers begin play in the US Open Cup Wednesday at home against Wilmington, Del.