by Abe Asher
There are not any certainties in Major League Soccer, however, this fixture is coming pretty close being one.
The Portland Timbers had crushed the Colorado Rapids at Windfall Park in seven straight games coming into this season, and, on Saturday night time, the Timbers made it eight straight with little fuss — scoring a simple 2-zero victory on the power of Jeremy Ebobisse’s first aim of the season and Diego Valeri’s tenth.
It was, all informed, an easy evening. Though the sport was scoreless till the first half’s closing moments, its course was never in critical doubt. The gulf in school between the 2 groups was as extensive and as abiding as any the Timbers have encountered this season.
The victory that resulted is an enormous one: it boosts the Timbers into the Western Convention’s all-essential fourth place with simply seven games left to play.
These next seven will not be almost as straightforward as this one was. But contemplating that they have been mired in a four-recreation dropping streak and five-half scoreless streak just eleven nights in the past, the Timbers have been joyful sufficient just to maintain enterprise.
Earlier than they might get to that, nevertheless, the night began with an eyebrow-elevating choice.
With Samuel Armenteros in a goalscoring rut, having cooled significantly since Fanendo Adi’s departure, and Giovani Savarese not shy about sitting star forwards, Jeremy Ebobisse was handed his first begin of the season and first meaningful MLS minutes because the Timbers’ playoff ouster final November.
It was an enormous name, however it paid off. Ebobisse, caught almost all yr with T2, was ready for his closeup.
He appeared the part from the opening whistle, distributing and shifting nicely, and had the ball within the internet on the top of a Valeri free kick after just ten minutes — solely to see a highly doubtful offside determination negate what would have a dream start.
20 minutes after that, with the Timbers still urgent for the opener, a equally marginal offside call took away another objective after Valeri broke by means of the Rapids’ defensive position and planted a free header past Tim Howard.
It was, in the long run, on the cusp of first half stoppage time that the Timbers broke via for good. Diego Chara’s lead move down the righthand aspect left Rapids fullback Edgar Castillo not sure of whether or not to assault the ball or retreat to defend without it.
Castillo’s hesitation proved fatal. Sebastian Blanco, racing ahead to get on the top of the cross, took full benefit: steaming via Castillo, and slipping an inch-good cross throughout the face of objective, the place Ebobisse, having darted to the again publish, discovered himself with a tap in.
Blanco raised both arms and turned triumphantly to the gang behind him, while Ebobisse took off in the direction of him in celebration. It was the objective that the young ahead’s first half performance deserved, and it finally it could not have come at a greater time.
With the Timbers taking a…