Portland came out stronger then the previous games and didn't let the first goal in until the 21st minute. This time the didn't get down and kept their heads up to equalize later in the half. Good tie and a good confidence builder leading up to the first home game of the MLS season.
Coach John Spencer trotted out a new starting line-up with four changes from the previous games, of course one of those changes was Jake Gleeson on for the injured Adin Brown. David Horst, Kalif Alhassan and James Marcelin all were added to the line-up to shake things up. The attack was much better out of the gate and the Timbers created a chance with a headed on goal but straight to Matt Reis.
The Timbers then almost gave up another early goal in the 7th minute but Glesson was able to come up big and keep the ball out of the net. The next 10 minutes Portland kept more possession then in the previous 2 games but was still not as dangerous as they could be in the attacking third of the field. Again in the 17th minute the Timbers were lucky to not be scored on as Gleeson seemed indecisive but was still able to get his body in front of the shot.
The New England goal came on a set piece that the Timbers were unable to clear out of their defensive third. Portland was able to clear the ball from the original corner and the second attempt but allowed a third attempt was put into the back of the net.
After the goal New England seemed to get a boost and was able to keep more of the possession then they had before the score. Slowly though Portland began to regain the possession and it finally paid off with our first goal in the run of play in the MLS. Portland was able to find Cooper on a give away from New England. Cooper then attacked the defense before finding Jeremy Hall in the box. Hall held the ball up nicely and was able to lay the ball off to captain Jack Jewsbury who then hit a great shot far post past the diving Reis.
The First half the half with 4 shots on goal compared to the 1 shot on goal for the Revolution and the possession favored the timbers 53% to 47%.
Spencer made only one change with Brian Umony coming on for an ineffective Jorge Perlaza. For the first 7 minutes the Timbers really dominated the possession with Alhassan really looking good in the attack down the wing. The Timbers finally looked like the team they showed in the Preseason with attacks down both wings. However they still lacked that final dangerous ball that create dangerous scoring opportunities.
The game slowed down from the 50th minute on as both teams seemed to hit a slight wall. There were numerous half chances created by both teams. However in the 63rd Minute the Revolution slowly started to take the game over as the pressed for the game winner. Portland Countered by subbing in fresh legs in Darlington Nagbe and the game seemed to go back to a stalemate.
The most dangerous chance for the rest of the game came from a free kick just outside the box. 4 Timbers stood over it but Alhassan hit a great ball that hit the post and bounced back. 3 inches to the right and Portland would have had 3 points not just 1. From then on Portland seemed to try and absorb the pressure and counter but it was without success and New England kept the pressure on. However New England could not find the go ahead winner and Portland got it's first point ever.
Jake Gleeson - 7 Kept us in the game and showed real poise between the pipes. Is going to become a great keeper.
Steve Purdy- 6 Purdy kept Nyassi in check for the most part but he could have been better with the service into the box. I would say that is the only knock on his game currently
Eric Brunner- 8 Brunner is fast becoming my favorite player to watch. He is what a Center Back is supposed to be.
David Horst- 8 Horstache is the perfect compliment to Brunner and really helped keep the New England attack under wraps.
Rodney Wallace- 6 By far the best game for Wallace, that said the Timbers need him to be just a bit better when joining the attack. Also did a great job combining with Kalif.
Jeremy Hall- 6 Another player who played his best game today. Great job joining the attack and did a great job with combining with Purdy. Great assist on the goal.
James Marcelin- 7 Disrupted Shalrie Joseph and did not let him have as big an impact on the game as he normally does. Held the ball well but still had some distribution issues.
Kalif Alhassan- 7 Alhassan was our creative midfielder this game as he pinched in from his wide position and served as an outlet for the defense. Still need more of a ability to be a pressure valve then he showed.
Jack Jewsbury- 7 Great goal again from the Captain. He also helped shut down the middle of the Revs attack.
Kenny Cooper- 7 Great pass to create the goal scoring opportunity and you can tell he is giving 110% but the service to him is not there.
Jorge Perlaza- 5 He just doesn't seem comfortable out there, needs to be more asstertive and just try stuff. Then again he is not a true target forward. Needs better service to showcase his stuff.
Brian Umony- 5 Is in the same boat as Perlaza as he is trying to get used to the MLS. Played better as a target forward but the Timbers need more out of that position.
Darlington Nagbe- 5 Seemed tentative at times but you could see he has the tools to take over games. Needs to attack the veterans and show them why he was the best player in College last year.
- Every game so far Portland has improved, not much more can be asked of a team.
- Ryan Cochrane looked like a 1970's Police TV show reject with that 'stache
- Stephen McCarthy looked like he had some business in the front and party in the back going on with his hair.
- The Line-up changes were exactly what the Timbers needed
- Marcelin is getting better every game.
- Still need better possession but the Timbers are getting there. The last thing now is to get better in the final third and create more dangerous chances.
- 2 weeks off until we play again will be good.