Friday’s MLS fixture featured the 7-6-5 Colorado Rapids and the 4-9-6 Portland Timbers. Coming into the match, Portland desperately needed a home win to keep themselves in the playoff picture. The Rapids aimed to hold on to their 4 spot in the Western Conference and use the match up as valuable playoff experience.
The game started off poorly for the Timbers who conceded an early goal to Deshorn Brown in a rebound off a corner kick. In the 20th minute, Brown had to come off with a strained hamstring. Colorado missed his quickness and speed throughout the remainder of the match.
The first half ended with the Rapids up 1-0. Portland was getting chances on goal, but could not convert against goalkeeper Clint Irwin. The second half was a different story. With the pressure mounting, the Timbers made a double substitution bringing Maximilliano Urruti and Gaston Fernandez into the game.
In the 72nd minute, Urruti scored off a Jack Jewsbury assist to equalize. The goal brought his season tally to eight. Almost five minutes later Diego Valeri buried a long range shot into the upper right hand corner of the net, in similar fashion to Galaxy forward Robbie Keane against the Revolution.
The Timbers win against Colorado was much needed. Hopefully it will give them the confidence going forward to compete with the league’s elite. They have the talent, coaching, and fan base to be dominant team in the MLS, but can’t rely so heavily on come from behind victories. Thanks to Valeri and Urruti, the Timbers have a building block in place to go in the right direction.
This game showed the Rapids how important Deshorn Brown is to the attack. Without him, they couldn’t mount meaningful chances and possess the ball properly… the Timbers’ possession rate was 63%, which put unnecessary pressure on Colorado’s defense. If they want to make a deep playoff run, they need to rely less on Brown and Dillon Powers, and find ways to attack without them. Catch the Timbers against Montreal next Sunday and the Rapids against Chivas USA on Saturday.
What did you think of the match? Let us know in the comments below.