By JOSE M. ROMERO
The Portland Timbers are undefeated at home in MLS play no more.
DC United got goals from Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius and Josh Wolff, overcoming two linesman calls that awarded an additional two penalty kick opportunities and resulted in a Timbers goal to walk out of Jeld-Wen Field with a hard-earned 3-2 victory.
The Timbers' defense let down goalkeeper Troy Perkins, and was pressed forward in the 85th minute when a long ball came through to Wolff, who beat Perkins ahead of two defenders for what proved to be the game's decisive goal.
It gave DCU (4-4-3) its second road win of the season, while the Timbers (5-4-2) failed to gain ground on any of the four teams ahead of them in MLS Western Conference. The Timbers, however, have at least two games in hand against each of those teams — Colorado, Seattle, FC Dallas and the L.A. Galaxy.
United, playing a number of youngsters without Dax McCarty and Charlie Davies in the lineup, scored first. Rookie Perry Kitchen converted Blake Brettschneider's header into the box in the 13th minute.
The Timbers are winless (0-4-2) when scored upon first, and that winless mark would continue. But not before some controversy.
Forward Kenny Cooper, who had two goals disallowed for being offside, was pulled away from the ball in the box by DC defender Dejan Jakovic in the 64th minute. The Timbers had been on the attack for several minutes leading up to the penalty and getting chances, and their work was rewarded with a PK.
Cooper's first strike was saved by Bill Hamid, but the linesman threw up his flag against Hamid for coming off his line too early. Cooper lined up again, fired, and watched Hamid make another save. Same call by the linesman.
The DCU bench was up in arms, and Hamid was so incensed that he ran at the linesman and drew a yellow card for dissent. Meanwhile, Portland coach John Spencer pulled Cooper of the penalty spot and ordered Jack Jewsbury to take the shot. Spencer guessed right, Hamid did not, and the third PK was the charm for the Timbers, who tied it at 1 in the 68th minute with Jewsbury's right-footed blast.
Cooper was subbed out for Ryan Pore in the 69th minute, and there didn't appear to be any hard feelings between he and Spencer. They both gave each other a single pat on the back as Cooper got to the bench.
DCU overcame the craziness of the situation and got a PK of its own in the 75th minute after Portland's Diego Chara was called for a handball in the penalty area. Pontius converted.
Wolff appeared to put the game away with his goal, but Jorge Perlaza knocked in a low header that bounced past Hamid in the 88th minute, giving the Timbers some life.
The Timbers' hopes of a draw fizzled in extra time as Perlaza's shot went wide of the goal. Brettschneider was a factor throughout the match and finished with a pair of assists.