The Portland Timbers needed a result. They did not get it.
After a bipolar pair of games last week (scoring seven in a home win and losing late away), Portland needed to show they were ready to compete with the league’s best.
Instead, they got complacent.
Aljaz Ivacic watched two Philadelphia goals trickle past him and the Timbers sunk back down to 10th in the Western Conference.
Philadelphia stole a goal just five minutes in through Daniel Gazdag’s overhead kick off a long throw-in. The ball slowly trickled past Ivacic, who stood rooted to his spot.
Ivacic redeemed himself five minutes later with a reaction save against Alejandro Bedoya, but he would again stand still as Pedro Santos gave the Union a 2-0 lead early in the second half.
Portland struggled to respond. When they finally did so in the 69th minute, Sebastian Blanco’s rebounded goal was called back for offside in the build-up.
In reality, it never felt like Portland had a chance in this game. They passed and passed and passed their way into the final third, but were horrendously uncreative once they got there. The home side’s first shot on goal came in the 86′.
Eryk Williamson left the match in the 15′ with an apparent leg injury, being replaced by Santiago Moreno. Williamson missed the second half of last season with a torn ACL. He walked off the pitch under his own power.
Portland tried in vain to equalize before half, but shots from distance by Moreno and Justin Rasmussen were off target. The Timbers’ only other first-half shot was a Bill Tuiloma header — also wide — compared to Philadelphia’s 10 attempts.
Portland’s next match will be a cross-country trip to Miami. That match will be at 5 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 28th.