PORTLAND, Ore.—Despite grabbing a goal early in the second half, the Philadelphia Union were not able to convert their chances against the Portland Timbers, kicking off a three-game road trip with a disappointing 2-1 loss in the Rose City.
The opportunities were there for the Union, as the visitors put eight shots on goal to the Timbers' six, but in the end the home side stood strong and Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson preserved the win while racking up seven saves on the night.
"Overall I thought that was two very good teams going at it," said Union head coach Jim Curtin. "There were a lot of chances created on the day. We had a couple of mistakes and they had a couple of mistakes, but we got punished for ours. [Fanendo Adi] and [Diego Valeri] were a handful and they made us pay."
The Union's lone goalscorer, Chris Pontius, grabbed his 11th goal of the season in the match, but Gleeson prevented him from further adding to his team-high goal total with two nice stops later in the second half.
"We had good looks," Curtin said. "I thought Gleeson was good on the day. He made some big saves for them. Chris got the one goal and had a few more looks, also."
Despite going down a man late in the match when Joshua Yaro received his second yellow card in the 85th minute, the Union continued to create chances until the final whistle.
"I thought [Fabian Herbers] had a couple of dangerous moments. [C.J. Sapong] created a few chances. It is disappointing," Curtin said. "I thought we had enough chances to get the equalizer. There was a little scramble, even at the end."
The Union will not be able to lick their wounds for long, however, as the side's road trip continues with matches against two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference: Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls.
Looking forward, Curtin took a pragmatic view of the upcoming matches as the Union try to lock down a playoff spot in the East.
"We have a tough task ahead of us,” he said. “We have Toronto and New York, two teams in the East that we are close with, and we need to take advantage. Any point goes a long way at this time of year, whether it is a tie or a win."