MLS Snapshot: Timbers come back to draw Atlanta at home

Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two and a half months into the 2017 MLS season, neither the Portland Timbers nor Atlanta United are where they hoped to be — where they thought they’d be after red-hot starts to the season. Portland, who came back from a goal down in the second half to draw the expansion side at Providence Park on Sunday, raced out to a perfect start in their first three games, by a combined score of 10-3; since then, Caleb Porter’s side has won just two of eight. Atlanta, on the other hand, won two of their first three and scored a boatload of goals in the process; since then, they’ve won just one of seven, though six of the seven have been played on the road (their home schedule is backloaded with Mercedes-Benz Stadium still under construction). Six points from seven road games isn’t a terrible return, especially for an expansion team, but they’re sorely missing Josef Martinez (quad injury), though he’s expected back very soon.

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Three moments that mattered

46′ — Gressel beats Gleeson to start the 2nd half — 24 seconds on the clock, Atlanta quickly moved the ball up the field, and Julian Gressel applied the difficult finish from the top of the 18-yard box.

50′ — Ridgewell heads home at the back post — Set-piece defending is supposed to be Portland’s biggest weakness, but here’s Liam Ridgewell taking advantage of acres of space as the ball bounces across the face of goal.

74′ — Kann’s diving save denies Adi late — Alec Kann needed every last bit of his 6-foot-4 frame to get his fingers on Fanendo Adi’s low, curling shot to the far post.

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Man of the match: David Guzman

Goalscorers: Gressel (46′), Ridgewell (50′)