The New MLS Season for the Portland Timbers


(Image from Stumptown Footy)

David Tecum, Writer

The Timbers started their 2019 MLS season in Colorado, taking on the Rapids of Colorado. The 2018 season ended in the most heartbreaking way, losing 2-0 to Atlanta United after an incredible cup run. The Timbers lost 2-0 with goals coming from the Venezuelan, Josef Martinez (reigning league MVP), and defender Franco Escobar.  The rest of the 2018 season had been a very up and down season for the Timbers, starting the season with a loss against the LA Galaxy, and then losing again to the New York Red Bulls. They improved the next week with a draw against F.C. Dallas. They drew again against Chicago and then lost 3-2 against Orlando. They were winless in their 5 games and their season looked to be falling already.  They faced Minnesota at home and it felt like a must-win game for the home side. A team that they were able to beat last year 5-1. They won their first game of the season 3-2 and then went on an 18 game unbeaten streak and at the end of the season came up just short of the MLS Cup.


The 2019 season kicked off on Saturday when they took on Colorado in Denver. The playing conditions were terrible playing in an 18℉  blizzard. In the snow, it was hard to see the Timbers players because they were playing in their alternate white jerseys. The Timbers went down 1-0 in the 16th minute by a goal by forward Kei Kamara (a new signing for the Colorado Rapids). The Rapids in the 27th minute conceded a penalty and a red card was issued to defender Axel Sjoberg for a handball. Diego Valeri stepped up to take the penalty… it was saved by veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard!!! but he put it right back into the path of Diego Valeri and he buried it. The score was now 1-1, game on. The Timbers snatched another goal before halftime through Sebastian Blanco. He got the slightest of touches off a corner kick and it trickled into the back of the net, then they went into halftime with the Timbers leading 2-1. Immediately after the halftime break, Rapids midfielder, Benny Feilhaber scored to make it 2-2. The Timbers scored again after attacker Andy Polo charged down the wing and put in a low cross and defender Deklan Wynne put it into his own net. The Timbers led and almost held on to win until the substitute Andre Shinyashiki scored a tap in at the back post. It was a disappointing result for the Timbers as they would have liked to start the new season with a win. After the match head coach Giovanni Savarese said that it “was not good enough” and that they “didn’t show the maturity that they needed to show”. The Timbers only made a few changes to their roster, but all of the signings have been insignificant. They have been looking for a new attacker but nothing has yet to happen. The Timbers will hope to improve throughout the season, and some experts expect the Timbers to go far this season, but if they are going to go far, much improvement needs to be made because championship teams should not let games slip away from them in big moments.