• Friday Jul 25, 2014

    Portland looks for right combination ahead of CCL

    Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri (pictured) has scored 14 goals in 51 all-time MLS regular season games. (Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer)

    PORTLAND, Oregon -- Don't discount the Portland Timbers from the MLS post-season picture just yet.  Last Friday, against Western Conference rival Colorado Rapids, the boys in green and gold proved resourceful in a 2-1 victory.  The 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League qualifier now sits just three points off the playoff pace, going from being in danger to being dangerous.

    Falling in line with the theme from this season, it was Portland’s offense that saw its hopes rise against Colorado. The 61st minute insertions of Maxmiliano Urruti and Gaston Fernandez opened up the attack noticeably.

    Fernandez, fellow Argentine Diego Valeri and Darington Nagbe combined beautifully and, in the 71st minute, all three touched the ball en route to an Urruti equalizer.

    Five minutes later, a curling effort by Valeri from 20-yards out found the back of the net as the Timbers took the lead for good. 

    "That thing was a thing of beauty," said captain Will Johnson of Valeri's strike.  "You don't see goals like that every day."

    Underscoring the entire encounter was the debut of former West Bromwich standout Liam Ridgewell, who signed with Portland on June 25 to improve the backline.  The central defender played a solid 90 minutes, particularly when Colorado pressed after Valeri's eventual game-winner.  Ridgewell interrupted the Rapids' central passing lanes quite easily, helped to switch the field and allowed the Timbers to dominate in possession by a margin of nearly 24%.

    Portland's upcoming fixture list includes many of the teams it will need to leapfrog in the table in order to secure a playoff spot.

    "We are close," said Valeri.  "We know that."

  • Champions League



RELATED NEWS YOU'LL LIKE

2014 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana update

The Union of Central American Football (UNCAF) revealed Wednesday that the next UNCAF Copa Centroamericana

U15 Championship logo unveiled

CONCACAF unveiled on Saturday the logo designed by students for the inaugural CONCACAF Under-15 Championship to be held in the Cayman Islands in August.

CONCACAF and CONMEBOL Announce Agreement to Bring Copa America 2016 to the United States

Centennial Cup America Will Be Most Important Sporting Event in U.S. in Decades

Jeffrey Webb, FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President

As a natural and charismatic leader of an industry that transcends all borders, Webb stands as a global visionary whose commitment to development and reform is strongly impacting the world of football.

U.S. names U-20 roster for Toulon

U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 22-player roster for the 2013 Toulon Tournament in France, May 28 - June 8.