Portland wins 3-1 over Philadelphia
The Timbers got off to a great start to the MLS season winning their first match at home 3-1 over the Philadelphia Union in front of 20,438 fans, which was a sellout.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber was at the match and saw first hand how rabid the Timbers' fans can be, which is only good for Major League Soccer.
Here are 5 reasons why the Timbers won their home opener on Monday night.
1. The new guys paid dividends right off the bat - The biggest off-season acquisition in FW Kris Boyd, who is the all time leading scorer in the Scottish Premier League, and first round draft pick DF Andrew Jean Baptiste both scored in the match. It is a good sign for the upcoming season that Boyd and Jean Baptiste got off to good starts. Jean Baptiste scored in the 54th minute and Boyd headed in a goal in the 66th minute to give the Timbers a 2-1 lead.
2. Offense, offense, offense - The Timbers had a solid match on offense really pressuring the Union defense all match long. They had 12 more shots than the Union (17-5) and they had 7 corner kicks while Philadelphia only had 1.
3. Portland's D was solid - The Timbers' defense played well the entire match and they only gave up 5 shots in the whole match and the Union only had 2 shots on goal. Portland G Troy Perkins was not tested that much, but did give up a goal in the 51st minute.
4. Time of possession battle - Portland won the time of possession battle 56% to 44% and that allowed them to control the ball in the midfield for most of the match and set themselves up with many scoring chances.
5. The Timbers Army - Even when Portland struggled to find their rhythm in the first half and they gave up the first goal in the match early in the 2nd half the Army was louder than loud and gave the Timbers a HUGE lift.
After the match Jean-Baptiste stated about the rabid crowd, "It's pretty exciting. I wasn't expecting that many people. It felt good playing in front of that crowd."
Next Up: Portland struggled away from home last season and they can get off to a good road start to the young season, as in their first away match they face FC Dallas on Saturday.
It was the franchise's first-ever comeback win as Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Kris Boyd and Kalif Alhassan scored as Portland overcame a second-half deficit
Some things I loved!
The newly acquired Scottish striker scored the go-ahead goal in this one--his first in the MLS. It looks like Boyd-the Scottish Premier League's all-time leading scorer who had 164 goals in 296 appearances in the SPL with Kilmarnock and Rangers has already proven to be a great pick up for the Timbers in the off-season.
It as a star-struck atmosphere at the match, which attracted 20,438 fans, another sellout despite the wet cold conditions. The Timbers have proven so popular in Portland that seating capacity at JELD-WEN was increased by some 2,000 seats this season. Way to support your soccer in Rip City!
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