Portland Timbers defeated Sporting Kansas City to end the longest MLS win streak this season. Photo Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers
MLS News: Timbers End Sporting KC Winning Streak with 1-0 Victory at JELD-WEN Field
Portland hands Sporting KC first loss and shutout of 2012 campaign
The Portland Timbers ended Sporting Kansas City’s seven-game winning streak on Saturday with a 1-0 win before a sold-out crowd of 20,438 at JELD-WEN Field. The Timbers capitalized on an own goal by Sporting KC and held one of MLS’s top-scoring clubs scoreless as they snapped their five-match winless stretch with the victory.
The sellout crowd marked the Timbers’ 21st consecutive sellout for an MLS match at JELD-WEN Field.
Entering the match, Sporting KC had posted the second-longest winning streak to start a season in MLS history at seven consecutive wins. In a physical match, the Timbers’ defense limited Sporting KC to just two shots on goal and held the club scoreless for the first time in 2012. Portland gained the lead four minutes from halftime, when Sporting KC defender Chance Meyers knocked the ball into the back of his own net trying to clear away a cross by Timbers forward Kris Boyd.
Goalkeeper Troy Perkins logged two saves and his 50th career MLS victory, Boyd recorded a team-high four shots and defender Hanyer Mosquera cleared away a loose ball off the goal line in second-half stoppage time to help the Timbers (2-4-1, 7pts) end a four-game losing streak with their second win of the season.
Strike partners Kei Kamara and C.J. Sapong combined for eight shots and goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen recorded two saves as Sporting KC (7-1-0, 21pts) was handed its first loss of the season. Saturday’s match was Sporting KC’s third match over a stretch of eight days and capped a two-match road trip to the Northwest.
The Timbers took a 1-0 lead into halftime for a third consecutive match, benefitting from a Sporting KC own goal in the 41st minute. Boyd chased down a ball deep in the right corner and whipped in a cross to the back side of the box. On the back post, Sporting KC midfielder Julio Cesar and Meyers were there for the clearing effort. The ball hit off Meyer’s head and landed in the back of his own net.
Sporting KC, who entering the match ranked second in MLS in goals, shots and shots on goal, took 10 of their 16 shots in the match during the second half, and Portland’s backline stood to the task. During a late push by Sporting KC, Perkins made a save on a shot by forward Kamara in the 80th minute and Timbers midfielder Lovel Palmer blocked a shot from the top of the box in the 88th minute.
But the key play for the Timbers’ defense came in second-half stoppage time, when Mosquera cleared a dangerous, loose ball off the goal line. A long throw-in by Sporting KC defender Matt Besler made its way into the box and Perkins was there on the play. The ball slipped through Perkins’ hands and headed towards goal. Mosquera blocked the ball on the goal line and Perkins pounced on the deflection to end the threat. Sporting KC attempted seven shots in the final 12 minutes of the match.
Portland and Sporting KC combined for 28 fouls and six yellow cards.
- MLS’s record for the most consecutive wins to start a season was set by the 1996 LA Galaxy, who went 12-0 and won their first eight games in regulation.
- For a third consecutive match, the Timbers have either scored or been credited with the match’s opening goal. With the win against Sporting KC, the Timbers are 12-3-4 all-time when notching the opening goal of a match and improve to 10-1-4 when leading at halftime.
- The own goal by Sporting KC marked just the second time in eight matches this season in which the club has trailed in a match. FC Dallas scored first in a 2-1 Sporting KC win on March 25.
- The own goal was the first received by the Timbers in 2012 and the fourth overall received by the club since joining MLS.
- The Timbers held Sporting KC to just two shots on goal on Saturday. That total matched Sporting KC’s season low for shots on target in a game and matched a Timbers season-best in fewest shots on goal by an opponent.
- The win over Sporting KC was the first for the Timbers in the all-time series between the two sides. Sporting KC leads the series 2-1-0.
- The shutout against Sporting KC was Portland’s first clean sheet on the campaign and the club’s first in 10 games, dating back to the 2011 season. The Timbers’ last recorded shutout was in a 1-0 road win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Oct. 2, 2011.
- Goalkeeper Troy Perkins earned his 50th career MLS victory on Saturday against Sporting KC. His 50 career wins ranks among the league’s top 15 all-time most winning goalkeepers.
- Perkins played in his 135th career MLS match, which was also his 135th career MLS start, on Saturday. He ranks sixth among active MLS goalkeepers in games played. Saturday also marked his team-leading 35th consecutive start for the Timbers, dating back to April 23, 2011.
- The Timbers improve to 2-2-0 at home this season, and own a 11-7-3 record overall against league opponents at JELD-WEN Field.
- With the win, the Timbers are now a perfect 2-0-0 against MLS Eastern Conference opponents at JELD-WEN Field in 2012. The club is 2-1-0 overall this season against the East.
- Portland is now 1-2-0 during the month of April. The club’s all-time MLS record in April is 4-3-1.
- The 28 combined fouls between the Timbers and Sporting KC was the second-most combined foul total between the Timbers and their opponent in 2012. The six combined awarded cautions was a season-high for Portland.
- Midfielder/defender Freddie Braun made his MLS debut against Sporting KC on Saturday, entering the match as a sub in the 78th minute. Braun becomes the second Portland Timbers U-23s alum to make his MLS debut with the first team, joining goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, who made his MLS debut March 26, 2011, at Toronto FC.
- Forward Brent Richards, the Timbers’ first Homegrown Player, made his first appearance on the club’s match-day roster on Saturday.
- On the bench for Sporting KC on Saturday was defender Lawrence Olum, who played his first two professional seasons with the second-division Timbers from 2007-08. He played in 44 games and scored six goals during his time in Portland.
Portland Timbers (2-4-1, 7pts) vs. Sporting Kansas City (7-1-0, 21pts)
April 21, 2012 – JELD-WEN Field
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas City 0 0 0
Portland Timbers 1 0 1
POR: Own goal (Meyers), 41
POR: Purdy (Caution), 22
POR: Palmer (Caution), 44
SKC: Collin (Caution), 66
POR: Boyd (Caution), 81
SKC: Besler (Caution), 88
POR: Chara (Caution), 90+
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Perkins, D Purdy (Braun, 78), D Mosquera, D Brunner, D Chabala, M Nagbe (Songo’o, 89), M Jewsbury ©, M Palmer, M Chara, F Perlaza (Alexander, 84), F Boyd
Substitutes Not Used: GK Rowe, D Jean-Baptiste, F Dike, F Richards
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Boyd, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Boyd, Brunner, 1); FOULS: 16 (Chabala, Chara, 3); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 2
SKC: GK Nielsen ©, D Meyers, D Collin, D Besler, D Sinovic, M Cesar (Nagamura, 76), M Zusi, M Espinoza, M Convey (Bunbury, 71), F Kamara, F Sapong
Substitutes Not Used: GK Kempin, D Harrington, D Olum, D Sassano, M Peterson
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Kamara, Sapong, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Kamara, 2); FOULS: 12 (Collin, 4); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 2
Referee: Hillario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry, Paul Scott
4th Official: Sorin Stoica
Time of Game: 2:01
Weather: Sunny, 72 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial
Quotes: Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City
Portland Timbers Quotes
Head coach John Spencer
On holding onto the lead late in the game: "It's concentration. We know that. We did that earlier in the year last year, and I look at the game tonight and I think mostly their chances came from mistakes from us again. I addressed that with the guys in there, that if we don't miss-kick balls and miss-kick clearances and give them opportunities, then I think we could have handled them pretty well. People talk about Sporting KC’s physicality. I don't think they are an overly-physical team, I just think they play the modern game the way it should be played at times.”
Thoughts on the match: "I thought Lovel Palmer came in, played ever so well in the middle of the field; added a little bit of steal in there. I thought Diego [Chara] played superb, probably his best performance so far this year. Jorge [Perlaza] and [Kris] Boyd, they worked hard. We never got them a lot of good, quality services except for the one that Diego cleared across the eighteen, but I don't think we can really single anybody out. I think the performance was a good, solid performance ... But I think we have a lot more quality to come, that's for sure."
On playing the full 90 minutes: "So it's up to us when the first whistle blows, we've got to try and match them, because if you don't match them, they are a big, physical, athletic team, and they'll roll you over. I think we stood up to them tonight, and gave them as good as we got."
On moving forward: "I think we've got to take a lot of pride in our performance tonight. We've got to go to Montreal next weekend in another difficult game. There's no easy games in this league. I think that everybody here is starting to realize that on the field and off the field. Just because teams come in here, nobody's going to roll over. It's a tremendous atmosphere, everybody gets up for the games here, and that's including the opposition. We're very, very happy with three points tonight."
On Sporting KC's physical style of play: "I think they have actually gotten a raw deal when it comes to reputation – it's a physical game. They play the game the way the game should be played. They play high-tempo, they pressure you all over the field, they have some tremendous athletes, they don't give you time on the ball, so if that's being over-physical then I'll take that every day. I wouldn't mind playing that team, because I'll tell you what, we got a lot of good players."
Goalkeeper Troy Perkins
Overall thoughts on the game:"It wasn't pretty, it wasn't clean, but like we said before we went out, it's going to be a dull fight, and you know to get a win, it doesn't necessarily have to be pretty. Just get in around the ball as much as we can and fight for everything and we finally got a little bit of luck on our side."
On the defense’s performance: "I think we stayed compact. If you look, their chances are coming from 30, 40 yards, and then they're trying to get crosses in and they're not a team that gets crosses in a lot. So we really took a lot of the way they wanted to play away. The guys in front of me did a fantastic job."
Midfielder Jack Jewsbury
Overall thoughts on match: "We knew it was going to be a hard battle. Obviously Kansas City is a very talented team, very physical, and that's what it ended up being tonight. I thought we pushed and pushed and it's great to get the three points."
On team’s approach to the match: "I think we just wanted to stay organized. We knew it was going to be a battle. First 15 minutes we just wanted to press the game on their end and kind of turn them around. I think anytime you're putting pressure on the ball, hopefully you're getting close enough. Now whether or not the foul count really even matters, some people can read into that a little too much, but at the end of the day, everyone fought from minute one to minute 90, and I think that was the difference tonight."
On playing a full 90 minutes: "There was an injury right about that time, and kind of got everyone together and said, 'Hey, this is the time we've got to prove it not only to ourselves, but to everyone else that we can close games out and get a shutout.’ I think that was very important for us tonight. We came into halftime knowing we were up a goal, and if we kept the clean sheet, we were going to get the three points and that's what we did."
Sporting Kansas City Quotes
Head coach Peter Vermes
Thoughts on the match: “It would be a lot different if we came off the field and didn’t play well. I think the chances they had in the second half were great chances for them, other than that, I didn’t think they had much. I don’t believe that we gave anything away, we’re the team coming away from home and they got the three points. Credit them this, they played good at times. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t change anything. I feel that we didn’t give up much until the end and that is a big plus for us.”
On the play that resulted in the own goal: “It was just a bit of confusion on our part. Chance did a good job in my mind and he is going to think of this for a while, but overall I’m happy with his performance.”
On what comes next: “I think we have played three or four more games on the road and they’re all in the Western Conference, besides the one at D.C. I thought our execution [tonight] was good, except for the own goal, which was just a bit of confusion from our side. I did like the way we came in here and still got the output we did tonight. It’s not easy when you play away from home in this game. We did create a lot of havoc in their goal area. We will take these two weeks off which will be good for us to prepare for our next game.”
On the club’s first loss of the season: “Look, I hate losing, but I have to put into context. If we came in here and didn’t play well I think the guys would be feeling a bit different. Overall, I think our guys are happy with the way they played. From their perspective sometimes you have to chalk it up and move on – they don’t like to lose either – and this game will definitely sit in our minds.
Defender Seth Sinovic
Thoughts on the match: “Yeah, it’s a tough game and great crowd. Unfortunately they went up on an own goal. I thought we played well even though they created some good chances and that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
On the end of the seven-game winning streak: “We’re disappointed to come away with a loss here and we wanted to take the momentum into the two-week break, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. You just can’t take away from the wins we’ve had so far. We just have to keep working and building off what we have learned.”
On the result: “Definitely, I thought we could have won the game and of course they had their chances. It was a hard fought game and that’s the way this sport is. Sometimes you have the result you get, but with the two weeks off I feel that we will be ready for whatever else comes our way.”
Forward C.J. Sapong
Thoughts on the match: “We had a long [winning] streak, which gave us a target on our backs for every team to come at us. I feel that we may have given the game away, but it’s not like they ran us off the field. I think the road trip took a lot out of us and we’re happy to go get a little break and get right back at it soon.”
On the result heading into an off week: “I think it’s just how the game goes, I don’t think that there were any glaring mistakes. Everything we did, we just didn’t do it to our maximum potential. It’s just been a long stretch of games and this rest will do great things for us. Hopefully we will start another streak after.”
The Timbers close out the month of April on the road as they visit the expansion Montreal Impact on Saturday, April 28, at Stade Olympique, with kickoff set for 11 a.m. (Pacific). The matchup against Montreal will be televised live on KPDX, the Portland Timbers Television Network and in Spanish on EstrellaTV. Radio broadcasts will be available on 750 AM The Game and in Spanish on La Pantera 940 AM.
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