MLS Snapshot: Portland Timbers 1-0 D.C. United

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The game in 100 words (or less): So there is a bit of fight in these Timbers, somewhere deep, deep down within. I wasn’t very kind to Caleb Porter’s after their loss to Toronto FC last week, and fairly so considering their apathetic, lazy demeanor in a game in which they could have easily fought back and won a point. On Wednesday night, it was a completely different story against (a very second-choice) Eastern Conference-leading D.C. United. Will Johnson made his first start since last October’s broken leg, and while his actual contributions were minimal, his presence seemed to lift a Timbers team in serious need of inspiration. If not for another god-mode performance from Bill Hamid (see more on that below), PDX scores a second, third and fourth goal to make this their a comfortable, landmark victory.

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Three moments that mattered

5′ — Fernandez to Urruti, 1-0 Timbers — Gaston Fernandez won the ball at the top of United’s 18-yard box, which was mistake No. 1 for the Black and Red. The Argentine’s cross was hit low and into a dangerous area, right to where Maximiliano Urruti was making his back-post run. Easy finish for the other Argentine attacker.

35′ — Hamid tips Urruti’s snap-shot over the bar — The ball to Urruti was as innocuous as they come, but Urruti’s first touch was stellar, setting himself up for a quick snap-shot from the top of the 18-yard box, which caught Hamid off guard and forced a tough save.

71′ — Hamid’s kick save spectacularly denies Asprilla — Dairon Asprilla had what appeared to be a can’t-miss, surefire goal, which would have effectively iced the victory for Portland. The Colombian’s first touch at the top of the six-yard box was exquisite. The ensuing shot from close range was low, hard and to Hamid’s right. Check, check and check on the to-do list. But Hamid pulled off a spectacular kick save to keep United alive, just barely.

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Man of the match: Bill Hamid — It’s a bit strange picking the losing goalkeeper as man of the match, but as stated above, it’s a three- or four-goal victory if not for the heroics of Hamid. He’s the next U.S. national team great, by the way.

LINEUPS

Portland Timbers: Kwarasey, Powell, Paparatto, Ridgewell, Villafana, Chara, Johnson (Jewsbury 84′), Asprilla, Fernandez (Wallace 60′), Nagbe, Urruti (Adi 75′)

Goals: Urruti (5′)

D.C. United: Hamid, Kemp, Opare, Birnbaum, Korb, Aguilar (Boswell 85′), Jeffrey (Kitchen 60′), Halsti, Mishu (Coria 72′), Doyle, Arrieta