DC United stops Timbers’ home win streak at five

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By JOSE M. ROMERO

The Portland Timbers are undefeated at home in MLS play no more. 

DC United got goals from Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius and Josh Wolff, overcoming two linesman calls that awarded an additional two penalty kick opportunities and resulted in a Timbers goal to walk out of Jeld-Wen Field with a hard-earned 3-2 victory.

The Timbers' defense let down goalkeeper Troy Perkins, and was pressed forward in the 85th minute when a long ball came through to Wolff, who beat Perkins ahead of two defenders for what proved to be the game's decisive goal.

It gave DCU (4-4-3) its second road win of the season, while the Timbers (5-4-2) failed to gain ground on any of the four teams ahead of them in MLS Western Conference. The Timbers, however, have at least two games in hand against each of those teams — Colorado, Seattle, FC Dallas and the L.A. Galaxy.

United, playing a number of youngsters without Dax McCarty and Charlie Davies in the lineup, scored first. Rookie Perry Kitchen converted Blake Brettschneider's header into the box in the 13th minute.

The Timbers are winless (0-4-2) when scored upon first, and that winless mark would continue. But not before some controversy. 

Forward Kenny Cooper, who had two goals disallowed for being offside, was pulled away from the ball in the box by  DC defender Dejan Jakovic in the 64th minute. The Timbers had been on the attack for several minutes leading up to the penalty and getting chances, and their work was rewarded with a PK.

Cooper's first strike was saved by Bill Hamid, but the linesman threw up his flag against Hamid for coming off his line too early. Cooper lined up again, fired, and watched Hamid make another save. Same call by the linesman. 

The DCU bench was up in arms, and Hamid was so incensed that he ran at the linesman and drew a yellow card for dissent. Meanwhile, Portland coach John Spencer pulled Cooper of the penalty spot and ordered Jack Jewsbury to take the shot. Spencer guessed right, Hamid did not, and the third PK was the charm for the Timbers, who tied it at 1 in the 68th minute with Jewsbury's right-footed blast. 

Cooper was subbed out for Ryan Pore in the 69th minute, and there didn't appear to be any hard feelings between he and Spencer. They both gave each other a single pat on the back as Cooper got to the bench.

DCU overcame the craziness of the situation and got a PK of its own in the 75th minute after Portland's Diego Chara was called for a handball in the penalty area. Pontius converted. 

Wolff appeared to put the game away with his goal, but Jorge Perlaza knocked in a low header that bounced past Hamid in the 88th minute, giving the Timbers some life. 

The Timbers' hopes of a draw fizzled in extra time as Perlaza's shot went wide of the goal. Brettschneider was a factor throughout the match and finished with a pair of assists.


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32 Responses to DC United stops Timbers’ home win streak at five

  1. A wise man once says:

    Wait, “The Timbers, have at least two games in hand against each of those teams — Colorado, Seattle, FC Dallas and the L.A. Galaxy.”??? Last I checked, They’ve only played each of those teams once.

    BTW why was McCarty out? Was he injured too?

  2. Kejsare says:

    As in, Timbers have played 11 games, but the others 13+.

  3. VADCUfan says:

    A wise man once said that this refers to total games played relative to another team or teams.

    p.s. groin strain

  4. Kejsare says:

    PK retake call was easy. Just don’t see it called that often, but in this respect it was easy for the ref to have a reason for putting the flag up. No controversy really.

  5. JoeW says:

    Yes, McCarty was injured (groin pull in practice). As where Davies and Quaranta (who otherwise would have started).

    DCU is not a strong team. They’re young, lack depth and still have some holes they could use an upgrade on. But with 2 road wins, they’ve already shown a willingness to gut games out and not quite. Skill level is decent. They’ll still have some clinkers I think (like the road loss to Houston) but clearly the team has made a lot of progress while also getting a lot younger.

    As for Portland, I think they’re massively overachieving (which is the best you can ask of an expansion team). Great stadium, even greater fans, great effort every game, huge homefield advantage, good at restarts–if that’s the verdict for their first season than that’s a helluva first year for any expansion team.

  6. mcm says:

    Respect to the traveling DC supporters who were standing at least 20 minutes after the game.

    I got interviewed by the BBC before the game about the timbers owner being better than American Owners abroad.

  7. vivalosburros says:

    Agreed. People in the running commentary were blaming the ref. But all he did was call it by the rule. Hamid was off his line both times. I also do not think that you can complain to much about the pk call. If you grab a player in the box you are giving the ref a chance to make that call.

  8. Eurosnob says:

    There is no controversy only because DCU won. Although Hamid was both times off the line early, the reason for him being off the line early was that Cooper both times came to a full stop before taking the kick, which is no longer allowed under the rules. The linesman watches the goalkeeper and the ref watches the penalty taker. Rongen said that the ref screwed up both calls.

  9. Since 82 says:

    The Timbers are not “massively overachieving”. They have strong MF play, are dangerous on set pieces, and the best fans in MLS. They won’t loose many points at home and should get stronger as the year wears on.

  10. MJC says:

    I agree on the first retake but the second was inches, I’d say at least 90 percent of goalies at least take that much of a step. Still you are right a rule is a rule and he did every so slightly step off his line on the second. However, I would question whether Cooper possible came to a complete stop when taking the penalty (he hesitated quite a bit on both). If your gonna watch Hamid’s line that seriously you also need to watch Cooper on the hesitation.

  11. vivalosburros says:

    Actually Rongen is wrong on this. Firstly, Cooper did not come to a complete stop. But this is not what the rule is about. The new rule is about players faking to take the shot.
    It is explained in this quote: “Feinting in the run-up to take a penalty kick to confuse opponents is permitted, however feinting to kick the ball once the player has completed his run-up is now considered an infringement,” FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke told a press conference held at the organizations headquarters in Switzerland.

    see the link for the quote: link to theoriginalwinger.com

  12. Mwing09 says:

    Agree with you MJC. I blame the ref only for the second retake. If you watch the Cooper’s second shot he definitely came to a complete stop in his run up, which could be argued was the reason for Hamid coming off his line early on that attempt.

  13. A wise man once says:

    ohhh I think I get it now.But it should have been worded: “The Timbers have at least two games in hand against those teams — Colorado, Seattle, FC Dallas and the L.A. Galaxy.”

    …Or maybe not. I’m confused.

  14. Kejsare says:

    Hamid didn’t realize how far he came up, and wrong. [BTW both times he was about 3-5 feet off the line when the ball was struck. This wasn't a single step forward then dive like you normally see. He stutter stepped up on the second one]

    “I was not even half a foot off my line”.

    Bogus.

  15. JoeW says:

    Don’t take my comment as an insult. Expansion teams aren’t supposed to be doing as well as Portland is doing. I love Portland. If you read the DCU fan comments you’ll see a lot of praise for your fans. You’ve got a huge edge as a team b/c of the stadium/fans…your team should never let up with that kind of support. And I totally agree about the effort as a team (which especially shows in MF hard work and hustle). And you’re great at restarts. Those are all positives. And the backline is young and athletic and in 2-3 years should really be something–I think Hall and Wallace have a world of potential. That said, unless Cooper really turns it on (which could happen) or Nagbe starts earning major minutes, there aren’t a lot of players on this team that scare other sides. And frankly, for where they are as an expansion team–that’s to be expected (except they’re probably ahead of where the majority of MLS expansion teams were in their first year). But I still stand by my comment about “massively overachieving”.

  16. Naboo says:

    scrappy effort. 3pts. vamos united!
    \

  17. AS says:

    Timbers are overrated, and we will not be able to really see the true team until 2-3 years of top-flight football. I hope D.C. United make the playoffs, because they have a very dedicated supporters group.

  18. sammysounder says:

    Timbers are good, but they are punching above their weight a bit right now. Set piece goals are great (2 more today), but the lack of goals from run-of-play would worry me. The opposition is also going to know more about Timbers (defend set-pieces, the importance of Al Hassan) as the season progresses.

    There’s also a BIG difference between games in hand and points on the board.

    The big question. . . .do they start another home streak or was that a freak start of MLS thing?

  19. Me says:

    This. I said it at the time – of course Hamid will come off his line if Cooper is using bush-league tactics to try and convert.

  20. Vince says:

    What’s disappointing for MLS is what a joke of a field Jeld-Wen is. Easily ten yards too narrow from sideline to sideline.

    How the heck do you build a “soccer-specific” stadium that doesn’t even come close to be a proper Fifa size?

    2 goals came last (one for each team) because even player with a half-decent throw can reach the CENTER of the penalty area from the sideline. It’s a joke.

    SJ has a crap field, too, but they’re using a college pitch until they get a stadium built. I don’t understand how you BUILD a field that is too small.

  21. akd says:

    To say Jeld-Wen “doesn’t even come close to a proper FIFA size” and that it is “easily ten yards too narrow from sideline to sideline” are both incorrect.

    Jeld-Wen field is 110 yards by 70 yards. FIFA standards for international matches is a minimum 110 yards to a maximum 120 yards length by a minimum of 70 yards to a maximum of 80 yards wide. So, Jeld-Wen does meet FIFA international standards, though it is on the bottom edge of them.

    As a rec league player, I’d love to play on a field even this wide. Unfortunately most of our fields are converted (American) football fields which we’re lucky if we can widen them out to even 60 yards wide.

  22. Vince says:

    I looked it up, and Jeld-Wen is 110×70 — so right at Fifa minimum. Though it bears pointing out it meets the minimum for friendlies, and would never be used in a Fifa competition like the World Cup in the U.S. in 2022. (Oh, wait…).

    But still, if you are going to build a soccer-specific stadium, why not go for a big, beautiful expanse that lends itself to passing and build-up play?

    I give the Timbers credit for strategy, they play to to their field: pack it in, slow the game as much as possible, and play for throw-ins and set pieces.

  23. BWH says:

    I agree, I am not happy with how the attack looks. Set piece goals count the same as every other goal, but if that is the only way we can score then we will eventually stop putting points up as teams start to defend better.

    Cooper is quickly becoming my least favorite starter.

  24. JoeW says:

    I know it’s hard to feel positive after a loss (particularly a home loss) but Portland should feel very good about this team. Nice stadium, outstanding fans, maybe the best atmosphere in MLS…all of this provide a major boost to the home side and show every team/city in MLS what the potential is like for MLS games. Young backline that is athletic and only going to get better. Tough, tenacious coach who knows MLS and seems to handle youth well (time will be the best test of this). Some wise personnel choices. And unlike TFC (when they started out), a willingness to let the kiddies grow and not churn the team every 3 weeks with a new trade.

    Portland will be favored in every home match, they work hard, they’re good at restarts.

    For an expansion team, that’s very impressive to be able to say all of these things.

  25. socnow says:

    Ajax seemed to have no problem with the “small field” at Jeld-Wen.

    The built-in excuses of MLS teams and fans is amusing.

  26. Here and Now says:

    Cooper stutter-stepped up on both kicks, then slightly hesitated before kicking the ball. Both times he successfully brought Hamid off his line early. Cooper should have lost the corner for taking an illegal pk.

  27. Vince says:

    Yes, meaningless friendlies when both teams are playing C squads are certainly conclusive.

    The built in excuses of eurosnobs is always amusing….

  28. Matt Mathai says:

    Wow, so sensitive…

    Great fans, and a strong midfield. Yup. Acknowledged. Strong on set plays – I think mostly at home, where the narrow field helps quite a bit. That would explain the very strong home record. I haven’t looked it up, but they don’t have that dominance on set plays on the road, do they?

    And when did Kenny Cooper become such a whiny, diving player? He’d be a lock on the national team if he just played his size.

  29. Since 82 says:

    I’m not taking your comment as an insult, just respectfully disagreeing. I think the key to whether the team continues to rise, or falls, this year will have to do with the MF connecting better with the Forwards (and Cooper and Perlazzo’s indivual play as well). At this point, I am optimistic on both counts. I also like what I have seen out of Zizzo and Nagbe is slippery. Overall, I thin they will continue to have a good year and have a promising future.

  30. Since 82 says:

    Not sensitive, just don’t agree with the other poster which is cool. I think that is part of the reason why we are in America.

    Two out of the three road goals were on set pieces. Cooper through the wall against Colorado. Futty heading in the ball from Jewsburry against Seattle. They also got blanked twice.

    I’ve been tracking Cooper for a long time. He is what he is. He isn’t really a target forward and doesn’t play well with the ball at his feet. He will cleanup messes in the box and is dangerous on set pieces in the air. I think he also provides a lot of space for the MF. He never did much for the NATS and was injured in the Bundesliga.

  31. Since 82 says:

    I agree with your points Joe, it has been a blast thus far. As a recent transplant from the NYC area, I know that teams can start off far worse aka New York Metro Stars.

  32. Kendall says:

    He plays very well with the ball at his feet, especially for a big man…PDX is where they are because of him. Your best goalscorer shouldn’t be pulled when you need a goal.

    Terrible move by the whiny Spencer