major league soccer

Portland shows off to nation

Outstanding tourney ends with title trophy
Staff Report

The Portland Timbers closed out a great month of matches with a dominating performance Tuesday, scoring a 2-1 victory over Orlando City in the finale of the MLS is Back Cup.

Defenders Larrys Mabiala and Dario Zuparic scored off set plays to power the Timbers to victory at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, which played out minus fans during it's month-long run. Portland won five of its seven matches in regulation and scored twice in six of the seven.

Twenty four of the league's 26 teams participated in the tournament, which began with six groups of four teams playing three matches each.

Portland placed four players on the all-tournament team.

The Timbers scored in the 30th minute when Mabiala headed home a free kick from Diego Valeri, a score that countered much of the first half's domination by Orlando City.

The Lions rallied just before halftime with Mauricio Pereyra redirected home a cross from Nani past Portland keeper Steve Clark.

Portland dominated much of the second half possession and scored the winning goal off another set play with Zaparic redirecting a frantic cross midway through the second half. Orlando City did not mount a serious scoring threat through the remainder of the match.


Timbers open season with draw

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.


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