Adam Larsen Kwarasay

MLS Cup Playoffs: Portland Timbers 2-2 (7-6 PKs) Sporting KC


The game in 100 words (or less more): Major League Soccer has never known a more insane, nonsensical, I’m-at-a-loss-for-words game in its 20 years of existence. The Portland Timbers are on to the Western Conference semifinals after defeating Sporting Kansas City, 2-2 after extra time (7-6 in 11 rounds of penalty kicks), but that doesn’t even begin to tell part of the story. Rodney Wallace gave the hosts a second-half lead, but Kevin Ellis equalized just before full time and Krisztian Nemeth scored a stunning goal six minutes into extra time, but Maximiliano Urruti equalized with two minutes of extra time remaining. The game could have had as many as four red cards — Ellis, Wallace, Nemeth and Fanendo Adi. The game went to penalty kick — 11 rounds — before it was decided. The crazy penalty kick shootout moment to ever occur occurred (watch below, in all its insanity). The Timbers will face the no. 2-seed Vancouver Whitecaps in the conference semifinals beginning on Sunday. Sporting KC’s season is over, with a single trophy, the 2015 U.S. Open Cup, to show for their efforts.

[ MORE: MLS playoff predictions | Preseason predictions revisited ]

Three Four Five moments that mattered

57′ — Wallace toe-pokes one past Melia — You just have to clear the ball better than this, Sporting KC. Especially this time of year, with your season on the line with practically every kick of the ball in and around your penalty area. They didn’t, and the ball eventually fell to Wallace, who took his chance expertly.

87′ — Ellis skies over Ridgewell to equalize late on — Graham Zusi had himself a rough night for 86 minutes, but with 87 minutes on the clock, the USMNT midfielder delivered his first bit of real class on the night. The cross was quality, but Ellis seemed to levitate inside the box and pulled Sporting KC even very late on.

96′ — Nemeth’s moment of brilliance makes it 2-1 — Oh. My. Word. What a goal from Krisztian Nemeth, who — let’s get this out of the way no — should have been shown straight red in the 76th minute, continues to score stunning, massive goals for this Sporting KC side.

118′ — Urruti hammers a late equalizer past Kempin — Two minutes plus stoppage time left in his side’s season, Dairon Asprilla blazed a cross across the penalty area to Urruti was waiting. Urruti hammered his shot past Jon Kempin, who replaced Tim Melia in the 84th minute (concussion).

AET — The penalty kick shootout — There were 11 rounds, which — yes — means goalkeeper penalties. It ended in the 11th round, but that’s not what’s important here. Check out what Saad Abdul-Salaam did in the ninth round of spot kicks. MLS is insane. Clinically insane.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Rodney Wallace

Goalscorers: Wallace (57′), Ellis (87′), Nemeth (96′), Urruti (118′)

MLS half-day trade window roundup: Very busy day as Timbers, KC extremely active

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There was a decent amount of movement between MLS clubs during Monday’s abbreviated trade window, not all of it trade-related.

And it’s important to note that the trades may not all have hit the news yet, as the deadline for trades to be completed was 1pm ET. They could be announced afterwards, and the trade window reopens after Wednesday’s expansion draft for Orlando City and New York City.

[ MLS: New match ball | On Landon ]

Portland sent Michael Harrington to Colorado for allocation money, then turned around and sent allocation money to Real Salt Lake for Nat Borchers. The well-liked bearded Borchers, 33, started 32 of 32 games for RSL this season, while the 28-year-old Harrington made 21 starts for the Timbers.

Portland picked up four more players, adding Ghanaian goalkeeper Adam Larsen Kwarasay and Colombia right winger Dairon Asprilla to go with an official purchase of Alvas Powell from his Jamaican club. They also picked up Brazilian defender Jeanderson Salvador Pereira from Santa Rita.

Kwarasay is an eyebrow-raiser, having 21 caps for Ghana and coming from strong Norwegian side Stromsgodset.

Sporting KC went nuts, dealing for Bernardo Anor from Columbus and sending Aurelien Colin and CJ Sapong packing to Orlando City and Philadelphia, respectively.

Columbus has sent defender Josh Williams to New York City FC for allocation money. The 6-foot-2 Cleveland State product saw his playing time dip dramatically under Gregg Berhalter, going from 27 to 14 games played. NYCFC also picked up an international roster slot for 2015 and 2016 from DC United for allocation money.

Philly sent the rights of Amobi Okugo to Orlando City as well. He’s been expected to leave for Europe but could be tempted to stay and play with Collin and Kaka. Orlando is not acting like its just a rights move, and also picked up international roster slots from DC for 2015 and 2016 for allocation money.

DC United picked up defender Andrew Driver and a fourth-round pick in 2016 from Houston in exchange for goalkeeper Joe Willis and defender Samuel Inkoom. The Tally Hall deal is also now official.

Elsewhere, Philadelphia decided to part ways with bruising 33-year-old forward Conor Casey.