Timbers drop MLS opener to Whitecaps FC after missed chances


It was another one of those games.

The Portland Timbers (0-1-0) lost its MLS regular-season opener Sunday evening, 1-0, to Vancouver Whitecaps FC, who scored in the 49th minute when Lucas Cavallini was left completely unmarked on a corner kick.

“It was disappointing, of course, every time that we don't find a way to get points there's disappointment," said Giovanni Savarese after the match.

"The work that the guys put in, it was very good, and unfortunately this game came down to details on a corner, which came from us allowing them to be able to find a corner that created motion in the second half."

It was Portland's second straight season-opening loss and the team hasn't won a league opener since 2017.

Portland had multiple chances to score but could never get the ball in the back of the net. Well, not without the offsides flag coming up that is.

Failed chances include Felipe Morà being offsides on a Yimmi Charà goal, Darion Asprilla sailing a bicycle kick over the goal inside the eighteen, Yimmio Charà making an errant pass inside the box despite the keeper being off his line, Asprilla connecting on a header but the ball going east of the goal, Mora failing to convert a touch in the 88th minute ten yards from goal, and more.

"We did a lot of good things," added Savarese. "We were in a lot of good areas inside their box. We did have a lot of chances, we did have a lot of moments where we could have capitalized but we just have to make sure we are better in those moments to get those points.”


Vancouver goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau added two saves, one cross claimed and punched the ball out of the box once, to preserve the clean sheet.

Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark had to leave the match in the 78th minute after injuring his leg, but Savarese said he expects him to be fine.

“We try to make sure that we keep him safe from getting worse with the tightness he had in his muscle.

"He decided to come out of the match and it was a smart move to make sure that we can manage that situation," explained the Timbers manager. "That's why we made the substitution right after he distributed the ball higher. As soon as he hit the ball, he felt it and it was important to us to make sure that we kept him out. Sometimes you have this situation, but I think he is going to be fine.”

Jeremy Ebobisse and Sebastiàn Blanco both did not play, nor were they included in the eighteen. 

Portland looks to earn its first point when they host Houston Dynamo FC at Providence Park on Saturday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. PT.