Portland Timbers

Timbers open the right way

Portland celebrates MLS Cup with 2-1 win over Columbus
March 6, 2016 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

PORTLAND -The Portland Timbers gave their fans the best possible start to the 2016 MLS season Sunday at Providence Park - a win before a raucous home crowd.

Diego Valeri scored in the 23rd minute in front of the Timbers Army, and Fanendo Adi scored in the 79th minute to give Portland a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew in a rematch of the MLS Cup final from December.

Portland celebrated it's 2015 Cup win prior to the game in several ways, then beat its opponent from the final by the same score - this time before a home crowd of 21,144.

"To see the banner of winning the 2015 (MLS Cup), that was amazing," Adi said afterward. "I think that emotion took us into the game, and we did well."

"It was a very important game for us, special," Valeri said. "The first one after the MLS Trophy, and we wanted to give the (win) three points to our fans. And, we did it."

Portland remained unbeaten in home openers in its sixth season in MLS.

The Crew actually held a number of statistical advantages from the match, including more passes, better passing accuracy and holding possession for more than 60 percent of the match. But, the Timbers won 50 of the 83 physical duels and turned them into 20 shots, eight of which were on target causing Columbus keeper Steve Clark to make six saves.

Portland keeper Adam Kwarasey made three saves.

Valeri's goal came off a free kick from 25 yards away on the left side. The right-footed kick cleared the Columbus wall and then curled into the near post to spark a celebration among a crowd that had been revved up for more than an hour of pre-game hype.

Portland continually pressured Clark with shots and had a pair of goals waived off for offsides and an inadvertent handball.

The tone of the game changed early in the second half and Federico Higuain scored on a bicycle kick in the 68th minute to tie the score.

Portland survived a strong series of action by the Crew directly following the goal, and Dairon Asprilla set of the winning goal with a drive up the left side that finished in a cross. After a couple touches, Adi jumped on the ball and slid the ball past Clark for the final score.

Columbus narrowly missed tying the game moments later when Higuain beat Kwarasey to his right, but the shot hit the post and bounced high and away from direct advantage.

Portland finished with a 20-19 edge in shots.

The Timbers continue their 34-game regular-season schedule at San Jose Sunday.

Timbers have high expectations

Fri, 02/26/2016 - 5:04am
Cliff Pfenning
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Is there anything close to a dynasty brewing for the Portland Timbers?

That’s one of the things fans of the team can dream about after the franchise won the Major League Soccer title in only its fifth year of play.

And, it’s brought the teams’ fans bragging rights throughout the Northwest in regards to league results. Neither Seattle or Vancouver, their Cascadia Cup rivals, have even played in the league championship since it began in 1996.

When the 2016 season begins, not only will defending the title be among dreams of fans, but winning more than just one will as well.

Looking at the history of the league, three franchises: D.C. United, Houston and the Los Angeles Galaxy have won back-to-back titles, but none has won three straight. That will be among the thoughts of fans when the team begins play March 6 with its season opener at Providence Park against the Columbus Crew, its opponent in the league finale.

Big season ahead for Timbers' fans

There's new goals after the team won the MLS title in 2016
Feb. 7, 2016 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

Is there anything close to a dynasty brewing for the Portland Timbers?

That’s one of the things fans of the team can dream about after the franchise won the Major League Soccer title in only its fifth year of play.

And, it’s brought the teams’ fans bragging rights throughout the Northwest in regards to league results. Neither Seattle or Vancouver, their Cascadia Cup rivals, have even played in the league championship since it began in 1996.

When the 2016 season begins, not only will defending the title be among dreams of fans, but winning more than just one will as well.

Looking at the history of the league, three franchises: D.C. United, Houston and the Los Angeles Galaxy have won back-to-back titles, but none has won three straight. That will be among the thoughts of fans when the team begins play March 6 with its season opener at Providence Park against the Columbus Crew, its opponent in the league finale.

Timbers score huge win

PK and solid defense net 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake
Oct. 14, 2015

Give those Portland Timbers credit when and where they deserve - especially in Utah.

Portland scored its second win of the season over Real Salt Lake, 1-0, Wednesday in MLS action, effectively knocking the host team from the playoff race for the first time in seven seasons.

A 54th-minute penalty kick by Fanendo Adi proved the decisive score, which moved the Timbers three points clear of San Jose in the race for the Western Conference's final playoff spot with two games remaining.

Portland plays at Los Angeles Sunday, and then closes out the regular season at home against Colorado, Oct. 25.

At 13-11-8, 47 points, Portland is tied with Seattle for fifth place in the West, and just four points shy of LA for second place.

San Jose has matches remaining against Sporting KC, and FC Dallas - both Western playoff teams entering the final week. Dallas leads the West with 54 points.

Portland's win, which followed a last-second win earlier in the summer, was its league-leading 13th shutout of the season.

RSL dropped to 11-13-8, 41 points.

Adi got the PK - his 13th goal of the season - off a foul earned by midseason acquisition Lucas Melano, who beat the RSL defense and was tackled at the edge of the 18-yard box by Jamison Olave. Officials conferred and then sent off Olave before the crowd of 19,457.

Portland finished with a 15-7 edge in shots, and 5-2 on goal.


Timbers pull off huge win

Adi scores to lead Portland to 2-1 road victory at Columbus
Sept. 26, 2015 / MLS Media

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Fanendo Adi bested Kei Kamara in a battle of physical target men as the Portland Timbers earned a 2-1 win over Columbus Crew SC in front of a packed house in Columbus.

Adi’s two goals were enough to best Columbus, who missed multiple chances to equalize after Kamara’s league-leading 22nd goal of the season.

A match that promised to be entertaining delivered in the first half with a back-and-forth affair. Playmakers from both squads had chances early on, as the likes of Kamara, Ethan Fnlay, Diego Valeri, and Darlington Nagbe all created danger in the opening minutes.

Crew SC escaped a very early deficit when a sliding Wil Trapp tackle brought Nagbe down in the Columbus box. Nagbe looked stunned to not hear a whistle, but referee Silviu Petrescu waved play on.

In the 27th minute, Waylon Francis lofted a perfect cross for Kamara, who put an open header over the bar. Just a minute later, Portland capitalized.

With a piece of magic, Nagbe scooped a pass between Crew SC defenders, finding a streaking Adi, who powered a shot past a helpless Steve Clark for the match opener.

The league’s leading scorer had a bit of brilliance of his own, as Kamara pulled Columbus level just before the half with a perfectly placed header into the bottom corner from a corner kick.

The strike gave Kamara 22 goals in 2014, just five away from the league’s all-time mark and four away from the most in Crew SC history. It also raised the amount of MLS clubs he has scored against to 21, as he now has goals against each of the current active teams and the now-defunct Chivas USA.

After halftime, during which Columbus celebrated the unveiling of the top moments in club history with celebrity guests like Brian McBride and Brad Freidel, Portland wasted little time regaining the lead.

As fullback Harrison Afful streaked down, a Portland break isolated Michael Parkhurst on Rodney Wallace. The center back couldn’t keep up, and the winger slid a cross to Adi, who calmly placed the point-blank shot in the opposite corner in the 50th minute for the winner.

Crew SC looked to have equalized in the 64th minute through Ethan Finlay, but the goal was disallowed much to the frustration and anger of the hosts.

The much-needed three points for the Timbers (12-10-8) buoyed the club’s playoff chances, bringing them to 44 points on the season, four ahead of seventh-placed San Jose. They next host Sporting Kansas City on Oct. 3.

Timbers right in playoff hunt

After a home draw with KC, Portland remains among to six in the West
Sept. 10, 2015 / Oregonsports.com

PORTLAND - With a 0-0 draw against Sporting Kansas City Wednesday, the Portland Timbers remained tied for fifth place in the Western Conference and within striking distance of the league's top record.

They just need to score some goals for that to happen.

Portland continued its season-long struggle to score with the outcome, which combined aggressive offense with determined defense. The Timbers outshot the visitors 18-8 on the night and had eight on target, but KC goalkeeper Tim Melia had a career-high seven saves in the match with one shot being stopped by a defender. Portland finished with an 8-2 edge in shots on goal with much of the offense being sparked by midfielder Diego Valeri.

Overall, the Timbers improved to 11-9-8, 41 points, entering a game Sept. 20 at Providence Park against the New York Red Bulls, who lead the East with 45 points and 45 goals.

Portland is last amongst the 12 current playoff teams in both conferenses, with just 29 in 28 games. The other 11 teams have each scored at least 34 goals. Only one team: the Colorado Rapids; have scored fewer goals - 26. The Rapids are last in the West.

The Timbers remained last in the league in first-half goals with just seven.

San Jose sits just two points behind both Portland and Kansas City with 39 points.

Vancouver leads the league with 48 points with six games remaining.

 

Timbers get regular-season playoff preview

Portland's plays a series of matches against solid opponents
August 24, 2015

With eight games left in the regular season, the Potland Timbers are far from having wrapped up a playoff spot in the Western Conference. But, they're on that path and have an exciting final two months of matches that should help them to a run at the MLS title if it's going to happen.

That run starts Sunday with a game at Cascadia Cup rival Seattle.

The remainder of the regular season includes a match against league-leading Los Angeles, one against the New York Red Bulls (No. 3 in the latest MLS Power Rankings), two against Kansas City (No. 4), and one against Toronto (No. 6).

Portland enters the week at No. 7 in the rankings - produced by mlssoccer.com, and in fourth place in the West with a record of 11 wins, eight losses and seven draws. With 40 points, the Timbers are five points ahead of seventh-place San Jose and only six points behind the Galaxy.

The game at Los Angeles figures to be a huge playoff update as the last game in Los Angeles produced a 5-0 disaster on June 24.

The Timbers enter Sunday's match having no chance to reclaim the Cascadia Cup as a win would only tie them with Vancouver, which has a win and two draws in its three games against Portland. A win Sunday would keep the Sounders from claiming the Cup.

Sunday's game is set to be televised on ESPN at 2 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

Portland gets another thumping on the road

With the 5-0 loss at LA in memory, Timbers drop 3-0 decision in Philly
July 12, 2015

CHESTER, Pa. - When the Portland Timbers lose, they really lose.

Three weeks after a 5-0 loss at Los Angeles, the Timbers dropped a 3-0 decision at the Philadelphia Saturday, giving up three goals to the Union in the final 21 minutes in front of 18,722 fans at PPL Park.

Saturday’s defeat marked just the second loss for Portland in its last eight regular-season games, and the team’s first-ever loss against the Union all-time.

Portland (9-7-4, 31 pts) held the host Union (6-10-4, 22 pts) scoreless for the majority of the match, but Philadelphia scored two goals in quick succession as midfielder Andrew Wenger converted a well-struck, left-footed effort from just outside the box in the 69th minute for a 1-0 lead.

The Union doubled their lead in the 71st minute when midfielder Vincent Nogueira hit a one-time effort from near the penalty spot for a two-goal lead.

Nogueira finished the match with a brace, scoring a second goal in the 82nd minute following a passing combination with midfielder Cristián Maidana at the top of the box. Maidana had a role in each of Philadelphia’s goals, finishing with three assists.

With three players earning their first starts of the season for Portland, the Timbers saw several close chances in the first half. Midfielder Diego Valeri struck the crossbar with a well-placed free kick in the 36th minute and forward Fanendo Adi delivered a header on goal in the 39th minute, forcing Union goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre to parry the shot over the crossbar. In the second half, midfielder Gastón Fernández had a low drive smothered by Sylvestre in the 56th minute.

Portland finished the match with 52 percent of the possession and were level, 8-8, on corner kicks with the Union.

Next up, the Timbers return to the Rose City to play host to Cascadia-rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday at Providence Park, where the team has won five consecutive matches.

Timbers roar again

Stoppage-time goal beats San Jose 1-0 for record win
July 5, 2015

PORTLAND - The Portland Timbers will not be denied on their home field.

Midfielder Jack Jewsbury registered the game-winning goal in the first minute of second-half stoppage time and the Timbers tied an MLS-club record with their fifth consecutive home win, 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes in front of a sellout crowd of 21,144 fans on Sunday night at Providence Park.

The Timbers (9-6-4, 31 points) outshot San Jose (7-6-4, 25 points) 23-7, including 7-2 on goal, while earning their fifth consecutive home win at Providence Park since May 27.

The five-game streak equals the team’s streak of five straight home wins from April 14-May 21, 2011, the team’s first five home matches in the inaugural MLS season in 2011.

In stoppage time, midfielder Diego Valeri delivered a free kick from the left edge of the penalty box that found midfielder Gastón Fernández in front of goal. Fernández’s first touch popped the ball into the air on the left side of the goal and Jewsbury was in position to loft a left-footed effort over goalkeeper David Bingham from a tight angle for the winning goal. The win marked Portland’s sixth victory in their last seven regular-season matches and moved the side to within one point of the top spot in the Western Conference standings.

Controlling the flow of the match, the Timbers maintained 61 percent of the possession, while completing 85 percent of their 454 total pass attempts – compared to San Jose’s 70 percent passing accuracy on 291 attempts. For a second consecutive match, Portland attempted more than 20 shots as Valeri finished with a team-high six attempts, including three shots on goal. Defensively, the Timbers registered their eighth clean sheet of the season, and fifth shutout in their last six home games at Providence Park. Portland has conceded just one goal at home since May 2.

Looking for the early opening goal, defender Jorge Villafaña had a low drive parried away by Bingham in the 19th minute and Valeri saw a well-struck volley from distance smothered in the 27th minute. Nearing the end of the first half, Valeri got in behind the San Jose defense and put a shot into the back of the net, but the goal was called back as Valeri was in an offside position when he received the initial pass. Moments later, midfielder Will Johnson fired a long-range shot just wide of the right post.

As Portland pushed for the late game-winner, defender Norberto Paparatto delivered a solid header on goal off a corner kick, only to see Bingham catch the attempt in the 81st minute. With three minutes remaining in regulation, the Timbers appeared to have tallied the game-winning goal as Fernández deposited a header into the back of the net off a pinpoint cross from defender Alvas Powell, but the goal was disallowed as Fernández was judged to be offside.

Next up, the Timbers take to the road to face the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, July 11, at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.; kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Timbers primed for 'Earth' Week

Portland heads to San Jose for U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal
June 30, 2015

The Portland Timbers - on fire like parts of the West - head to San Jose Wednesday for a quarterfinal match in the U.S. Open Cup with a goal to keep their current streak alive and headed toward a first for the team - a national championship.

Portland has won five of its last six MLS contests, including a franchise record four consecutive games, and six of its last seven including a Cup victory in Seattle two weeks ago. Wednesday they play the Earthquakes in their new stadium.

A win Wednesday would put the Timbers in the Cup semifinals for the second time in three seasons. Portland has never reached the final, and has played for a national title only once - during their inaugural season when they lost in the NASL Championship game.

The match is the first of two with San Jose in five days. The teams play at Providence Park Sunday with the game televised by ESPN2.

Portland (8-6-4, 28 points) moved up to within a win of passing second-place Seattle in the Western Conference following a 4-1 thrashing of the Sounders Sunday. The win moved the Timbers up to No. 4 in the MLS Power Rankings Monday, up from sixth a week ago.

San Jose (7-5-4, 25 points) sits just out of a playoff spot in seventh place, but is just a win from tying the Timbers, and has played two fewer matches.

The Timbers are hot all over the nation, too. On mlssoccer.com, the league's website, comments about Sunday's win over Seattle were more than double of those from the New York battle between the Red Bulls and rival NY City FC.

 

 

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