Throughout the first month of the MLS season, the Portland Timbers fired goal after goal with Diego Valeri leading the charge. On Saturday, the Timbers could muster just two finishes, but it was Valeri who once again set up what turned out to be the decider.
The Argentinian playmaker found Roy Miller for the game-winner on Saturday, leading the Timbers to a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium. The win is the Timbers’ fourth of the year, giving Caleb Porter’s side their 13th point of the young season.
Valeri notched yet another assist, his third of the year, helping create the game-winning goal. From a free kick, Valeri found the head of Miller, who flicked a shot backwards and past Andre Blake to seal the three points.
Fanendo Adi added an insurance goal in the 88th minute, firing home from the penalty spot following a Blake foul. The goal saw Adi seal a major distinction, making him the Timbers’ all-time leading goalscorer.
After creating several looks early, the two teams exchanged goals midway through the first half, scoring just six minutes apart.
Richie Marquez scored the first of those goals, an unlikely goalscorer to say the least. On a corner kick from Haris Medunjanin, Marquez rose up and headed a shot to the far corner to score his third career MLS goal.
A more conventional finisher found the next one, as Darlington Nagbe restored the deadlock six minutes later.
In the opening minutes of the second half, the two sides exchanged chances with both goalkeepers making saves. Blake made two stops, including one from close range, while Jake Gleeson pushed out a Union chance for a corner kick in the 57th minute. A minute later, the Union dodged a bullet as Sebastian Blanco flicked a close-range shot just wide of the net.
Eventually, Valeri would break through, earning the Timbers three points ahead of next week’s match against Sporting KC. The Union, meanwhile, host NYCFC in their next outing.
MAN OF THE MATCH
While he didn’t find a goal on the day, Diego Valeri made several key passes, including the game-winning assist.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
After seeing his side concede in the 26th minute, Darlington Nagbe turned the tide with his first half goal, beginning the Timbers’ push towards three points.
MATCH TO FORGET
Roland Alberg had a rough game for the Union, as the Dutch-born attacker ended several of his side’s attacks with poor play.