Union / Union match reports

Match report: Portland Timbers 2-1 Philadelphia Union

Darren Mattocks had two assists and Fanendo Adi and Diego Valeri both scored as the Timbers defeated the Union 2-1 on Saturday afternoon in Portland. Chris Pontius scored his 11th goal of the season, but it was not enough for the Union. Philadelphia was forced to play the final five minutes plus stoppage time with 10 men after Josh Yaro received his second yellow card of the game in the 85th minute.

First half

Jim Curtin made just one change to the team that drew with Montreal last Saturday with Brian Carroll replacing Warren Creavalle in the holding midfield role.

After a fairly even opening 15 minutes, the Timbers would get the first good chance of the game in the 20th minute. Darlington Nagbe was able to flip a ball to Fanendo Adi just inside the Union area, and the striker struck a clean shot on the half volley. Andre Blake did very well to get down low to his left and push it away.

In the 25th minute, Yaro was whistled for a foul on Diego Chara near midfield as Portland looked to break. There may have been minor contact and Chara either slipped or went to ground very easily, but referee Chris Penso saw enough in it to caution Yaro, a play that would have larger effect later in the match.

The Union would have their best chance of the half in the 33rd minute. Tranquillo Barnetta squared a ball inside the Portland box, and C.J. Sapong’s shot beat Jake Gleeson but ricocheted off the right post and away from goal.

Adi would have another great chance to open the scoring in the 38th minute. Alvas Powell fired in a cross from the Portland right that Adi did well to get a head to, but his effort was just wide of Blake’s near post.

Second half

The Timbers would take the lead less than 30 seconds into the second half. Keegan Rosenberry overcommitted on a Darren Mattocks fake on the endline, and Mattocks drove at the Union goal before squaring a pass for Valeri to tap in from close range.

The lead would last less than a minute though. Fabian Herbers drove down the center of the pitch with the ball, taking four Portland defenders with him as he closed in on the 18-yard box. The rookie then dropped a simple backheel into the path of Pontius, who buried a left-footed shot into the side netting from the top of the box.

Portland would retake the lead in the 53rd minute through Adi. Mattocks again was able to get the best of Rosenberry, who was dispossessed inside his own half, 35 yards from goal. Mattocks drove at Rosenberry and fired a shot from just inside the area. Adi was able to step in front of Richie Marquez and redirect the effort past Blake from six yards.

Pontius would have a great chance to equalize for the Union in the 59th minute. A bouncing ball fell to the winger after the Timbers failed to clear their lines, and Pontius’ shot was low and hard, but Gleeson did well to get down and block with his feet.

Chara had a great chance to increase the Portland lead in the 78th minute. The midfielder latched onto a ball just inside the Union box and fired a hard half-volley that Blake pushed over the bar.

Jim Curtin would bring on Ilsinho, Charlie Davies, and Roland Alberg in search of an equalizer, but the three substitutes found very little of the ball in the closing stages. Yaro’s night would end in the 85th minute, when he was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Mattocks.

The Union would have one final chance to equalize late on when Barnetta’s  stoppage time free kick forced a save from Gleeson and Rosenberry latched onto the rebound, but Gleeson was able to push that shot away as well.

Brian Carroll’s appearance was his 366th in league play, moving him to 4th all time. Fabian Herbers’ assist was his sixth of the season, giving him the team lead.

Philadelphia is next in action when they travel to Toronto next Saturday (5 p.m.).

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake, Fabinho, Richie Marquez, Joshua Yaro, Keegan Rosenberry, Brian Carroll (Roland Alberg 79′), Alejandro Bedoya, Tranquillo Barnetta, Fabian Herbers (Ilsinho 67′), Chris Pontius, C.J. Sapong (Charlie Davies 74′)
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Ray Gaddis, Ken Tribbett, Warren Creavalle

Portland Timbers
Jake Gleeson, Vytautas Andriskevicius, Steven Taylor, Liam Ridgewell, Alvas Powell, Darlington Nagbe, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Diego Valeri (Ben Zemanski 90′), Darren Mattocks, Fanendo Adi
Unused subs: Chris Konopka, Jack McInerney, Jermaine Taylor, Zarek Valentin, Lucas Melano, Jack Barmby

Scoring Summary
POR: Diego Valeri (Darren Mattocks) — 46′
PHI: Chris Pontius (Fabian Herbers) — 47′
POR: Fanendo Adi (Darren Mattocks) — 53′

Disciplinary Summary
PHI: Josh Yaro (unsporting behavior) — 25′
PHI Alejandro Bedoya (unsporting behavior) — 35′
PHI: Brian Carroll (unsporting behavior) –78′
PHI: Josh Yaro (unsporting behavior – second yellow) –85′

Philadelphia Union Portland Timbers
15 Shots 18
8 Shots on Target  6
4 Shots off Target  12
 3 Blocked Shots  0
 8 Corner Kicks  3
 11 Crosses  11
1 Offsides  1
18 Fouls 11
 4 Yellow Cards 0
 1 Red Cards  0
 360 Total Passes  372
73.6% Passing Accuracy  77.2%
 50.5% Possession  49.5%
43 Duels Won  57
 43% Duels Won % 57%
 14 Tackles Won  15
 4 Saves  7
 20 Clearances  22


  1. Sigh…goodbye playoffs.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Not necessarily, but your increased concern is justified.
      New England beat Montreal, so they should have as many as 36. (I don’t think the MLS website standings update instantly; I may be wrong.) DC tied, and Orlando lost, so, at the moment, the Union in 4th have a 3 point lead on 5th and a 5 point lead on sixth.
      Yaro is out for Toronto, but few of us, I suspect, have been counting on any points from that game in any case.
      hosting the knockout round game is in greater jeopardy.
      The playoffs depend on getting six points from the last two home games of the season.
      Rosenberry got schooled twice, and Marquez got caught not being “goal-side” of Adi on the second goal.
      Chris Penso seems very lenient on shoulder charges and overt pushes, and very tight on foot fouls or anything from behind. That ADi got nothing for his grab and tug on Blake was a glaring error. But his decisions did not overtly affect the outcome. Darrin Mattocks did.

      • Based on the last few games, even if this team gets into the playoffs, they’re getting bounced out immediately.

    • Old Deuteronomy says:

      Luckily for this team the bottom dwelling playoff aspirants suck and are a full 7 points behind… which leaves these Jellicle Cats climbing over themselves well positioned…..somehow.

  2. Lucky Striker says:

    Fanendo showed CJ where the bear shat in the buckwheat. When your striker’s a piker there’s not much to liker………

  3. This tweet sums it all up:

    Matthew De George
    Not to put too fine a point on this, but:
    Fanendo Adi tonight: 7 shots, 3 on target.
    CJ Sapong last 10 games: 11 shots, 5 on target

  4. Old Deuteronomy says:

    an expected result by the once hippest elephant around… cue psychotic break beat… cue the lights… ‘famous in proverb and famous in rhyme.’

  5. Can’t believe we couldn’t score any more against a road weary team like this. Who cares if this team makes it to the playoffs? It’s not good enough at all.

    • Making the playoffs after finishing last season 18th out of the 20 teams in the league shows progress.

      • Exactly. I think some of us are jaded by the Union being so high in the standings earlier in the year. We forget what the expectations were coming into the season – just basic improvement over the sucktastic season of 2015. Making the playoffs wasn’t even required for a lot of us at the start of the year. I know I wanted to the goal differential improve, the home record improve a lot, and the road record improve a little. I’ll have to go look at the exact numbers, but I believe they’ve already met my “improvement goals” for the year.
        Generally speaking, lets not forget that this is Earnie’s first year.

  6. Jimbo! (“Timbers”!!!). . .

  7. Dammit… Well… Say hello to a midweek playoff game on the road… eh… this was always about next year, right? Right?! 🙁
    Portland played the same lineup as they did mid week and subbed once… ONCE!?! Weather be dammed, that was a winnable, or at least drawable, game.

  8. I’d be content to wait for next year. But actually I’m less optimistic about next year. Our great additions Bedoya and Davies have shown me absolutely nothing to be optimistic about. And Barnetta will likely be gone. A team with one DP who hasn’t played in more than a year and another DP who shouldn’t be paid DP money is never going to beat an intelligently constructed team with Diego Valeri on it. Oh well.

    • A bit negative but I do see your point. Maybe the “success” we have this year will spurn Sugarman to spend a few bucks and let us live like kings for a year to two… god knows the support would be there.

    • To be fair, Bedoya came in halfway through the season and Davies is coming back from cancer.
      History has shown that players who have come to the MLS in the middle of the season generally are not very effective for that first half-season. And Davies was just diagnosed and started treatment this past spring so I would not judge his play too quickly since he will likely need more then a few months to heal – I can’t speak from experience myself but most cancer treatments wreak havoc on the body according to what I have heard.
      Most optimistic thing to me is Earnie followed closely by the youth of many key players on the team. Easy to forget that this is only Year 1 of this organization really having their stuff together.

  9. The whole team* has hit a mental wall. They look like they’re struggling to make decisions on the field. Maybe it’s too much of the same XI, or too many twoadays, or what. But Sapong, Rosenberry and Pontius especially need a break.

    * – except Herbers. Kid looks like he’s having more fun every game.

  10. Guys, hold the toast!!!
    They still have to go to TFC an RB. Pace yourselves. As we sit on 11 wins, you KNOW their Twitter intern is dying for us to get to 13 and most Ws in a season. You guys see 2 wins?

  11. Why so narrow? That’s what I kept asking myself last night…….,you could have played in a bowling alley…….

    • Lucky Striker says:

      Where was the speed ? besides coming at Rosenberry and Yaro I mean.

      Herbers, Pontius & Ilsinho don’t threaten anybody with their pace.

      Fabinho was struggling with staying upright, and Keegan was busy.

      They seem perpetually disjointed to me. Lineups thrown against the wall to see what sticks, and the only thing that permanently adheres is a lack of accountability.

  12. I said ” timber ho, timber woah this timbers gotta roll…….”

  13. Only caught the first half (and the highlights thereafter). Found myself at an indy 11 Nasl game featuring one mike Lahoud playing for the opponent. Good times that. Just want to make sure nobody goes into a full blown panic. This team will make the playoffs, it will be a play in game, and that game is almost certain to be against montreal. If I told any of you before this game the final score would be 2-1 timbers, you would have said “fair enough” and moved on. It’s a road game on the west coast in one of the toughest stadiums in MLS against the defending champs. We have 4 games to figure out how to integrate edu, get CJ right in the head, and maybe even have a plan heading into the play in. Trust the process.

    • Watched the highlights (because I missed most of the game live, too. Philly looked better than I thought at first. A little turn of luck and we could easily have left with a draw. Tough part is that I think this was the best shot we had at winning. Next two are going to be tough. Best outcome I can imagine is a draw in Toronto and a win at Red Bulls. Best case scenario I see is 4 points. More likely is 1 or 0.

      • True, it’s just that I don’t see anyone else playing well behind us in the standings, and I think the union actually match up remarkably well with the red bulls. You’re right tho, a draw next weekend would be a massive result. We should all be tfc fans today too. Could use the help.

  14. I missed the game live (stupid Bar Mitzvah to go to…) but what I saw was a team completely unable to deal with the high press which led to multiple turnovers culminating in the winning goal.
    The one good thing about yesterday was that when they did a video memory bit for my cousin’s son, it ended with a congratulatory message from Josh Saunders who my wife and I promptly booed (followed by a “No one like us” chant). I also spent time trying to convince my cousin to take his son to a game at a real stadium and not one that is also used for baseball.

  15. Bedoya played so many bad passes it was disgusting.
    Off the top of my head I can count 5 give away passes by Bedoya that hurt the team. For the most expensive player in Union history, I am not impressed at all with his performance on the field.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      …but he’s fatigued.

      • And dont forget dude………for all that money, he needs time to settle in…….

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        Wow… we get a solid USMNT player and we murder him because he isn’t Pele… how far we have come.

      • Expecting the highest paid player to be able to determine that there is a defender in the space he’s going to pass is murdering him?
        Nope, expecting a player to do their job is nothing close to murder. Your bar is too low.

  16. Darrin Mattocks flat out schooled Rosenberry in this game. Rosenberry looked horrendous. Yaro was not the option for this game as he had trouble handling Adi all night. I agree overall Yaro is probably the better player, but Tribbet deals better with large hold up players like Adi. Yaro got pushed around and his lack of size showed he just couldn’t compete. Carroll I thought quietly did a great job in the middle much happier to see him back than Creavalle. Carroll being back allowed Bedoya to step forward more however Bedoya never really got into the game. And last and Final point if this team wants to make the playoffs BENCH SAPONG we need someone who scores the ball and doesn’t miss every oportunity given to them. Again BENCH SAPONG.

    • While Yaro was bad, Marquez was worse in my opinion.

      • My thought was Adi picked on Yaro and pushed to his side more. I didn’t see anything stellar from anyone on the backline but Rosenberry and Yaro stood out as worse than Fabi and Marquez.

  17. I think this likely screws up the chemistry, but wanted to hear peoples thoughts. I’m tired of CJ he doesn’t score its just not working. What if the lineup were to look like this:
    Pontius Barnetta Bedoya
    Edu Carroll
    Fabi Marquez Tribbet(cause Yaro is out)Rosenberry

    • I can’t complain about that, but I’m not sure Edu is ready to start (see recent reports on his fitness playing with Steel). So I’d probably keep the Bedoya-Carroll pairing at lest to start. That said, we looked much better when Herbers and Sapong switched spots for a while this game. So something has to happen. I’m open to any combination of Herbers along with either Davies (up top) or Sapong/Ilsinho(on the wing). With me leaning towards Sapong being on the bench.

      • See while I agree Edu isn’t probably ready to start Bedoya hasn’t gotten in to games lately. I think you have to try it at this point cause Sapong is just nothing in the middle. Davies doesn’t have the fitness to start. My only other thought is leave Bedoya and you start Alberg up top instead and leave Herbers on the right. I prefer right now either Herbers or Beodya on the right Ilsinho is a fine sub, but I don’t want to see him start anymore.

      • I can’t argue with any of that.

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