PORTLAND, OR - One was all it took. A lone goal early in the second half of action was enough to bring home a victory for the Timbers.
The Timbers offense looked very good early, getting multiple chances on goal, but just couldn’t put anything home. Honestly, it was hard to tell if the Timbers looked locked in of if San Jose just looked that bad.
For much of the match San Jose looked out of sorts, and not much of a threat to score at all. The only thing they looked able to do was inflict bodily harm on Portland. In the 37’ Earthquakes defender Darwin Cerén was given a yellow card for a hard foul. Less than 60 seconds later he barreled into Sebastián Blanco, was given his second yellow card and was sent to the locker room.
He wasn’t the only San Jose player to get a little extra curricular activity in. Marco Ureña got tangled up with Jake Gleeson early in the second half, and could be seen throwing a soft kick at the Timbers goalkeeper. A few plays later Gleeson was diving for a loose ball, when Ureña came flying in. Ureña made a lazy attempt to jump over Gleeson, let his back foot drag, and kicked him in the back of the neck/head as he went by.
Gleeson remained on the turf for a few minutes while trainers checked on him, but for the remainder of the match he could be seen getting his thoughts across to San Jose in what one can only assume was some not safe for work vocabulary.
Neither of Ureña’s plays resulted in a card, but they fired the Timbers up.
Now, back to the important stuff: Valeri and his goal(s). In the 50’ The Maestro found a small hole in the Earthquakes’ defense, poked the ball past the defense and in for a goal. Ironically many of the Timbers missed shots on the night bounced off the goalpost, and Valeri’s made goal did the very same. In the end, it doesn’t have to look pretty; it just has to go in.
Valeri grabbed another goal during second half stoppage time, just to put a little icing on the cake.
In the locker room Liam Ridgewell said Valeri got lucky on his second goal. As the old saying goes, sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Tonight Diego Valeri was both.
Final Score: Timbers 2 - Earthquakes 0
Next Up: The Timbers return to the pitch next Saturday, June 10, as they play host to FC Dallas. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm at Providence Park.