There’s no stopping the team with Major League Soccer’s best record at the moment.
Caleb Porter’s Portland Timbers moved on top of the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings with an electric 4-2 victory over the Houston Dynamo at Providence Park on Saturday night.
Diego Valeri, the catalyst of almost every host streak the Timbers have been on in recent years, struck twice for goals in the 11th and 58th minutes. David Guzman’s first MLS goal turned out to be game-winning goal, and Fanendo Adi added a fourth for insurance in the 88th.
The Timbers struck first blood in the 11th minute after DaMarcus Beasley was whistled for a handball in the corner of the penalty area. Valeri took advantage of the penalty call and slotted home his third goal of the season.
Houston returned fire with an equalizer on a penalty of its own in the 38th minute. Erick “Cubo” Torres blistered a spot kick past Jake Gleeson after Diego Chara was called for a handball in the wall on a Torres free kick. The Dynamo took a one-goal advantage into the half behind Romell Quioto’s 45th-minute strike off an excellent cross-field pass from Alberth Elis.
Portland’s second-half scoring surge began in the 58th, when Adi held the ball up at the top of the box and dished a pass out to Zarek Valentin. The defender’s cross from the left wing found the head of Valeri for the Argentine’s fourth tally of the young season.
Darlington Nagbe produced a marvelous assist in the buildup to Guzman’s game-winner in the 66th minute. After Guzman collected a poor clearance, he fed Nagbe, who spiraled around a defender to return the ball to the Costa Rican, who fired his strike into the goal.
Adi danced around Tyler Deric and a few other orange shirts in the 88th minute before finishing into the bottom-left part of the net to trigger more celebrations inside an already jubilant Providence Park.
The Timbers will look to stay perfect in a week’s time at Mapfre Stadium against the Columbus Crew in one of the three MLS games being played during the international break. Houston returns to action on April 1 at BBVA Compass Stadium against the New York Red Bulls.
Man of the Match
This could go to any member of the Portland front four, but Valeri deserves the honor for placing a pair of strikes into the back of the net.
Moment of the Match
Nagbe’s brilliant pass to Guzman to set up the third Timbers goal took the wind out of Houston’s sail. Up until that point, the Dynamo were hanging around hoping that a counter would spring a third strike.
Match to Forget
The Houston center back pairing of Adolfo Machado and Leonardo did not look stable for long against the Portland attack. The Dynamo defenders left Tyler Deric hanging out to dry on too many occasions in the second half.
Seems like Cabrera was out coached in this one. Once the timbers sat back the dynamo had no creativity to attack. The 1st half of the game was great with both teams opening up, second half adjustments by Porter killed the dynamo. Also, dynamo could have been fatigued during second half. They didn’t look as fast as 1st half. Congrats timbers
Cabrera’s substitutions came way too late, and even though the Dynamo have made an enormous jump in talent this year, they still lack quality depth.
Timbers should be a playoff team and Cup contender, but so far they have two home wins against expansion MinnU and a Dynamo team that themselves is probably slightly overrated and a questionable win over LAG as covered by Galaxy social media. It doesn’t take a genius to know the Timbers won’t win every game, but this 3-0 start is not good for their supporters who will no doubt believe they should, and will no doubt howl non stop when they do lose a game
I’m not sure what your point is? Every team and their supporters want to win! Your point smells of bitterness? Keep your chin up!
Two simple points genius:
1. The 3-0 start is aided with some kind circumstances, i.e. two home game including against MinnU and the two JVD dives against LAG. Averaging 3 pts a game is obviously not sustainable. Not ground breaking stuff.
2. Portland fans tend to be “newer” soccer fans and thus prone to homerism. The most notable example was the long streak they had without getting a penalty and they seemed to think there was some referee conspiracy against them.
Keep your chin down, your reading comp need work!
Also, to be clear, yes, I have different accounts depending on which computer I’m on
First, As Timbers fans, were not howlers. We do have pride but have been very accustomed to being handed a loosing side. Second of all, keep your petulantce and disregard to yourself. Third, your team is currently in the East Coast basement, which is not good for the supporters.
I don’t know horse. Let me break it down.
A. The Timbers sure seem like loosers to me! 😉
2. I called your Timbers MLS Cup contenders. Sorry I don’t think they’ll average 3 pts/gm. Sorrey!
D. It’s hard to nail down a true rooting allegiance being an Austin native. Austinites are bigger bandwagon/fair weather fans than Portlandians. Good on ya for that!