The defending champs took a big step toward the playoffs.
Fanendo Adi and Diego Valeri scored second-half goals, Darren Mattocks had a pair of assists, and the Portland Timbers surged to a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Saturday night at Providence Park.
Jake Gleeson made seven saves after shaking off an early boot to the face for the Timbers, who are currently hovering just above the red line in the Western Conference.
- 46' —POR — Diego Valeri (Darren Mattocks)
- 47' — PHI — Chris Pontius (Fabian Herbers)
- 53' — POR — Fanendo Adi (Darren Mattocks)
- Full box score
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- HOME, SWEET HOME: Although the Timbers may not be exactly where they like in the Western Conference table, it’s not because of their home record. With Saturday’s win, Portland improved to 11-3-2 at Providence Park — the most home wins of any team in MLS. Of course, the Timbers have yet to win on the road, making their upcoming swing through Houston and Colorado a potentially daunting one. And speaking of road trips, the Union just started one of their own and will look to make up for Saturday's loss by trying to get points at Toronto and the Red Bulls over the next two weeks.
- NO REST FOR THE WEARY: Despite coming off a brutally tough midweek CCL road loss to Saprissa in Costa Rica, the Timbers fielded a first-choice lineup just three days later. And their big-time players showed up in a big way despite playing on tired legs with Adi scoring his 15th goal and Valeri his 12th just minutes apart. The Union’s top scorer — Pontius — also added to his goal total with his 11th of the season, in between Portland's two strikes during a wild start to the second half.
- PHILLY’S FINISHING WOES: Despite Pontius’ goal, the Union struggled to find the back of the net on Portland’s wet and slippery turf. After a brilliant play by Tranquillo Barnetta, striker C.J. Sapong hit the post as his scoreless streak hit six games. And although rookie Fabian Herbers had an assist, he misfired on a couple of good chances. It was also a tough night for Herbers’ fellow rookies as Yaro was shown a pair of cards and will miss Philly’s next match while Keegan Rosenberry struggled at times in his matchup with the speedy Mattocks.