Portland Timers are slowly catching back their usual rhythm of play. Giovanni Savarese’s boys defeated Houston Dynamo with 4-0 last night, showing everybody that they still want to be a force in the MLS.
When counting the US Open Cup, Timbers have three straight wins, in which they scored 10 and allowed only one goal. In general, when looking at the latest 10 games this team played, Portland has 7 wins, 2 losses, and a draw.
Coach Savarese was very happy after the match, but he stated that it is only one game, reminding everyone that there is another challenge coming up very soon.
“Overall, it was a very good night in all senses,” Savarese said. “Now, we have to remember this is only one match. We have to enjoy it, but we also have to focus on what’s coming next, which is a game against Montreal in three, four days.”
After a poor start during which they managed to win only one point in six matches, things are looking different now. Portland’s attack is working perfectly, and their back line looks much better than in those six starting matches. Back then, Timbers’ defenders allowed at least two goals in each contest during that stretch, in total 17 of them.
What was also a major reason for this team to have such a disastrous period was the inability to play at home. Their Providence Park was renovated at the start of the campaign, and Timber had to play first 12 games of the championship on the road.
The season premiere at home was against LAFC on June 6, and they lost that one with 2-3. But the next two were victorious. On both occasions, the result was 4-0, and the victim besides Houston was LA Galaxy.
Against Dynamo, Diego Valeri had one magical performance. The Argentinian scored one goal from the penalty and had three assists, being the key piece for Portland’s huge triumph. Still, despite his fantastic performance, the star of the match was Marvin Loria.
The 22-year old forward made his debut for the first team and scored the opening goal of the match. A half-volley scissor-kick ended in Dynamo’s net in the 39th minute of the first half.
“It was a dream come true,” said the young Costa Rican, who signed with Portland in December last year. “I’m thankful.”
— Jamie Goldberg (@Jamiebgoldberg) June 23, 2019
He was also in the center of attention during the situation which preceded the second goal. Loria was brought down in the box by DaMarcus Beasley, and the referee awarded a penalty which was later converted by Valeri.
“We felt that it was the right time for him to come in and play,” Savarese said about Loria’s first appearance.
Before tonight, the former player of Deportivo Saprissa appeared for the second team of the Timbers, where he scored 8 goals in 33 matches. It was a clear signal for Savarese to give him a chance, and he wasn’t wrong.
Brian Fernandez and Jeremy Ebobisse added one goal each and set the final result of this event. Portland is now 10th in the West with 17 points but has 14 matches, which is fewer than other teams in front of them.
Houston is 5th with 24 points from the same number of games as Timbers. Up next Dynamo heads for San Jose the meet Earthquakes on Wednesday, while Portland goes to Canada, to play against Montreal Impact on the same day.