MLS Snapshot: Toronto FC 1-0 Portland Timbers

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The game in 100 words (or less): At what point is it no longer “early, still plenty of time” for the 2015 Portland Timbers? At what point does disappointing result after embarrassing result no longer a hiccup in the road, but a serious trend that’s been going on for a season and a half? Sure, Diego Valeri recently returned from a torn ACL and Will Johnson made the bench on Saturday, for the first time since breaking his leg last September. Valeri and Johnson, or no Valeri and no Johnson, the Timbers are lethargic, apathetic and completely out of ideas. The same can be said of their head coach, Caleb Porter, who won’t make it through the whole of 2015 if it continues to look like 2014.

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Three moments that mattered

5′ — Giovinco rifles one in from distance — Right left, left foot, it doesn’t matter to Sebastian Giovinco, because the Atomic Ant can score with both feet. In the 5th minute of Saturday’s game, the ball was on his left foot, so that’s the one he used to score from 25 yards out. Note to MLS defenders: don’t give this guy so much space.

83′ — Konopka brings Urruti down, no penalty given — When you’re struggling like the Timbers are right now, there’s always a bit of the luck factor that seems to go against you on every call. Chris Konopka clearly brought Maximiliano Urruti down inside the penalty area, but no penalty was given.

88′ — Kwarasey thwarts Bradley, keeps it 1-0 — Giovinco did the hard part, holding the ball and bringing his fellow Designated Player into the play, but Michael Bradley’s surging run from deep in midfield was properly rewarded by a through ball that put Bradley one on one with the Adam Kwarasey. The Ghanaian made the acrobatic save, though. Still 1-0.

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Man of the match: Sebastian Giovinco — It’s not just the goal, but the threat Giovinco presents — and the deliverance on said threat — that makes him so dangerous and such a nightmare to play against. With Jozy Altidore out injured, Giovinco picked up more than his fair share of the slack.

LINEUPS

Toronto FC: Konopka, Morgan, Zavaleta, Perquis, Morrow, Osorio (Hagglund 83′), Cheyrou, Warner (Creavalle 46′), Bradley, Giovinco, Moore (Jackson 64′)

Goals: Giovinco (5′)

Portland Timbers: Kwarasey, Powell, Borchers, Ridgewell, Villafana (Urruti 80′), Jewsbury, Chara, Nagbe, Valeri (Fernandez 25′), Wallace (Asprilla 60′), Adi