Playing their third away match in a one-week span, the Portland Timbers fell 1-0 against the Colorado Rapids before 17,554 fans at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night.
The result marked the Timbers’ first loss against the Rapids in the last seven regular-season games played between the two teams, dating back to the 2014 MLS campaign, with both teams previously drawing 0-0 at Dicks Sporting Goods Park earlier this season on July 4. Portland and Colorado will face each other for the final time during the 2016 regular season on Oct. 16 at Providence Park, following a FIFA international window next weekend.
Portland (11-13-8, 41pts) opened the match against the Rapids aggressively, creating several chances to score in the first half. In the fifth minute of play, the Timbers produced a strong chance on goal when midfielders Darlington Nagbe and Ned Grabavoy combined on the edge of the box, creating an opening for midfielder Diego Valeri, who struck a powerful first-time chance that went just high of the target.
Less than 10 minutes later, Nagbe broke free down the right wing and ventured into the 18-yard box, before driving a cross toward the goal, just missing forward Fanendo Adi at the near post in the 13th minute of play.
Approaching halftime, Portland created another clear chance when Adi held up the ball on the edge of the box, laying it off for Valeri. Anticipating Adi’s touch, Valeri quickly pounced on the ball before hitting a dipping strike, forcing a strong save from Colorado goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 33rd minute. Three minutes later, defender Alvas Powell slipped a pass into the box, finding Valeri on the far right side of the area. After taking a touch, Valeri produced a low, precise effort that rattled off the far post after beating Howard.
In the second half, Colorado (13-5-12, 51pts) managed to open the scoring in the 63rd minute when Marlon Hairston’s pass into the box found its way to forward Sebastien Le Toux, who curled his effort into the bottom right corner to give the home side a 1-0 edge midway through the second half. Continuing to press forward, Portland responded strongly two minutes later when Grabavoy found space inside the box and fired a strong effort, forcing a sliding block from the Rapids defense.
Next up, Portland will return to league play on Sunday, Oct. 16, following a FIFA international window, taking on the Rapids at Providence Park at 2 p.m. (Pacific).
- Saturday’s match marked the Timbers’ first regular-season loss against the Rapids in the last seven games played between the two teams, dating back to the 2014 MLS campaign.
- The Timbers are now 8-2-3 in regular-season matches during the month of October, dating back to the 2013 season.
- Midfielder Jack Jewsbury played in his 350th MLS regular-season match, becoming the 10th player in league history to reach that milestone.
- Midfielder Ned Grabavoy became the 39th player in MLS history to appear in 300 matches.
- Midfielders Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe each made their 174th start with the Timbers, ranking tied for the most by any MLS player with a single club since the beginning of the 2011 season.
- Midfielder Diego Valeri registered five shots in the match, becoming the fifth player in MLS to attempt 60 shots during the 2016 season.