An embarrassing 7,114 show up to see the Revs draw.The Portland Timbers fought hard to earn their first ever MLS point by tying the New England Revolution. The visiting Timbers found their form at the end of the first half and held possession well for the rest of the game. This was a disappointing result for New England, which will be on the road Wednesday versus Vancouver and back in Gillette next Saturday for a game versus Real Salt Lake in a hectic week.
Portland came out with a gutsy 4-4-2 formation, though injuries handed a start to young New Zealand Under 20 Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson. It was Gleeson’s first ever MLS start.
Portland gained the game's first chance as they earned a free kick. Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury put a lofting kick inside the Revoultion 18 to Timbers defender David Horst. Horst headed the ball on net but Revolution keeper Matt Reis was quick to grab it.
The first 10 minutes of the game were filled with changes in possession and aggressive play. Timbers defender Steve Purdy earned a yellow card in the ninth minute for a foul on Sainey Nyassi.
As play went on, the Revolution began to look stronger as they had a great break on goal from defender Didier Domi but rookie Gleeson was quick to get in front of Domi before a good shot could be taken. Gleeson was showing great skill as the half continued and he put a Nyassi lazer over the bar.
Gleeson, however, met his match in the 22nd minute, as Revolution midfielder Stephen McCarthy scored his first ever MLS goal on a beautiful volley at the top of the box. Gleeson grabbed a piece of the ball but could not hold on as it squeaked by into the corner. After the goal the Revolution continued to push forward with great distribution from the central midfield out towards the flanks.
Portland got its break to tie the game in the 38th minute. Forward Kenny Cooper made great ball movement across the midfield and crossed the ball to midfielder Jeremy Hall at the top of the Revoultion box. Hall then slotted the ball over to Jewsbury who buried the ball in the back of the net.
Portland started out the second half subbing in forward Brian Umony for Jorge Perlaza. After the half both teams came out fairly flat. Once again play was back and forth.
In the first 10 minutes of the second each team exchanged a shot on goal. However each opportunity was poorly taken.
Revolution coach Steve Nichol made a substitution in the 58th minute by taking out midfield McCarthy and subbing in forward Kenny Mansally. Nichol's intention was too change the formation to a 4-4-2, however, his formation never seemed to pan out for New England as Portland soon controlled possession after the swap.
Portland also benefited from poor fouls committed by New England. In the 69th minute New England defender Ryan Cochrane fouled Timbers striker Kenny Cooper about 28 yards out. First half work horse Kalif Alhassan took the kick and hit the bar.
The last 10 minutes of play were pretty listless. Offensively New England was not the same in the second half as they could not seem to connect any passes.
The Timbers earned themselves a well deserved first ever MLS point. They go enter a week offwith some confidence. Striker Kenny Cooper had this to say about the team performance:
"It's obviously great to get that first point and against a team that has gotten off to a good start. I thought the boys fought hard and showed resilance. it was good to pull one back and walk away with a point."
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