The Portland Timbers got back on track Saturday afternoon with a resounding 2-1 Cascadia Cup win over the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Darlington Nagbe opened the scoring in dramatic fashion for the league-leading Timbers with a 25-yard thunderbolt that grazed the underside of the bar. Darren Mattocks, facing his formal team, doubled the lead just before the break as he finished off from close range after a deadly build up highlighted by a pin-perfect Diego Valeri cross.
Fredy Montero halved the lead midway through the second half when he cleaned up a rebound on his own missed penalty. Both teams saw chances in the last 20 minutes but neither were able to add to the scoreline. On a scary note for Portland, Valeri was stretchered off the field in the 80th minute with an injury of unknown severity.
- WELCOME TO THE PARTY MR. MATTOCKS. Mattocks nabbed his first goal of the season in his first start of the season – the fact that it was against his former team was the icing on the cake. The speedy Jamaican forward made all the difference with his movement and runs behind the Vancouver defense, and got just reward as he nabbed the eventual game-winner. The performance was even more important because he proved he can be an adequate replacement for the suspended Fanendo Adi.
- RIDGEWELL'S TRIUMPHANT RETURN. Portland really could have used its captain during the six games he missed since the season opener, as the Timbers have only kept one clean sheet so far this season. But he looked strong in the air and comfortable in possession against a dynamic Vancouver attack. All in all, things are starting to look up for the Timbers defense.
- AWAY WOES CONTINUE FOR WHITECAPS FC. Vancouver now have only one win in its last 12 MLS regular season away games (8L-3D). The result will feel hard lost given the solid performance of the away team. Montero again showed why he was worth the Designated Player investment, with excellent hold-up play and an ability to drop deep and link to his midfield to spark attacks. If Montero keeps up this form, that drought away from BC Place is sure to end soon.