Brian Fernandez scored on debut to lead the Portland Timbers in a 1-1 draw with the Dynamo in Houston on Wednesday.
Portland moves to 3-6-2 on the year, while Houston remains fourth despite moving onto 20 points.
Houston led on a 40th minute goal from Mauro Manotas, and Timbers boss Giovani Savarese turned to his new record signing in the 65th minute.
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A dozen minutes later, Sebastian Blanco hit this dime to Fernandez, who arrived from Necaxa last week.
The 24-year-old Argentine picked up where he left off in Liga MX, where he scored 18 times in 32 matches.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) Fredy Montero scored in the ninth minute and the Vancouver Whitecaps held on to beat the Cascadia Cup rival Portland Timbers 1-0 on Friday night.
Russell Teibert chipped the ball over to Montero for a left-footed shot over goalkeeper Steve Clark’s shoulder.
The Timbers had an opportunity in the 71st minute when Sebastian Blanco threaded a pass to an open Diego Valeri, but Whitecaps goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau was able to scoop up Valeri’s shot.
The Whitecaps (3-5-3) have their second straight. The Timbers (3-6-1) had win three in a row.
In the 35th minute, a whole section of Portland followers joined two Whitecaps supporter groups and some Vancouver fans in leaving their seats to show solidarity with female players impacted by allegations of bullying and harassment by a former coach.
Similar protests were held at two previous Whitecaps matches.
More than a dozen women who played for the Whitecaps and were part of Canada’s under-20 talent pool around 2008 have come forward to allege Bob Birarda, a former coach for both squads, acted inappropriately with members of the team. None of the allegations have been proven in court.
The Portland Timbers took a big step to solving some of its goal-scoring problems with a major signing on Monday.
The Timbers announced that it had signed Argentine forward Brian Fernandez as a Designated Player on a transfer from Liga MX side Necaxa. Fernandez finished the regular season of the Liga MX Clausura campaign with 12 goals in the 17-match half season, good to second best in the league. He has 16 goals in 30 league matches since joining Necaxa last summer. Per the Athletic and reports in Mexico, the Timbers are paying a transfer fee of around $10-12 million for Fernandez’s services.
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“We are very pleased to welcome Brian Fernández to our team,” Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese said in a statement. “Brian is a player who possesses many different attacking qualities that can cause issues for the opposition. He has shown the ability to unlock defenses and score goals in a variety of ways throughout his career, and, while we view him as a forward with our immediate group, his versatility and ability to play in different positions and systems gives us further tactical flexibility and options.”
Fernandez, who has played in his native Argentina, Chile, and even half a season at Metz in Ligue 1, brings a hot form and scoring ability to a Timbers team in need of goals. Although it can be partially excused by starting the season on the road, the Timbers have just 13 goals this season in 10 games, and more often than not, Diego Valeri, the playmaking maestro in attacking midfield, has finished the season as the team’s leading scorer.
Players such as Fanendo Adi, Darren Mattocks and Jack McInerney have come and gone, and while Sebastian Blanco appears to have the talent to succeed in MLS, he hasn’t been a consistent goalscorer. That necessitated the signing of Fernandez.
The signing also comes just a day ahead of the MLS Transfer Window first stage closing until the second stage opens in early July.
The Portland Timbers are finally off the scheid in the 2019 season, earning a road win at a quality opponent, downing Columbus 2-0 at MAPFRE Stadium.
It took a half-hour for the breakthrough but in the 31st minute Larrys Mabiala got his head to a set-piece delivery and powered it in past the near post. Zack Steffan got his hands to the ball but it was from close enough range that he couldn’t muster the power to stop the effort.
That wasn’t it for the Timbers before halftime as they doubled the lead four minutes later. Sebastian Blanco sent in a low, slicing cross from the left flank into the center of the box, and with Artur slow on the close out, Jeremy Ebobisse latched on and buried it into the back of the net.
After the break, Pedro Santos brought Columbus back within one in the 69th minute with an ambitious chip that caught Jeff Attinella way off his line, but it wasn’t enough. Jorge Moreira finished things off in injury time, blasting a howitzer into the top of the net for a 3-1 lead and all three points. The win lifted Portland off the bottom of the Western Conference, on four points to push them to 10th. Columbus, meanwhile, fails to take the opportunity to move top of the Eastern Conference, still sitting fourth, level with three other teams on 13 points.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked the one-year anniversary of his memorable MLS debut by winning, and converting, a pair of penalties to give the LA Galaxy a narrow 2-1 home victory over the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
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They were goals no. 2 and 3 of the season for Ibrahimovic after missing each of the last two games due to injury, and the Galaxy’s third victory in four games to start the 2019 season.
Ibrahimovic was shouldered to the ground for the first one, which he calmly tucked inside the left post in the 33rd minute. LA’s lead lasted just 11 minutes, though, as the Timbers quickly carved up the often-troublesome Galaxy defense with some slick one-touch passing to set up Jeremy Ebobisse just before halftime.
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The big Swede was then tripped up inside the box by goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, though there was plenty of discrepancy over 1) whether or not there was any contact, and 2) who initiated said contact which might or might not have occurred. With the game potentially on the line in the 65th minute, Ibrahimovic opted for the panenka penalty, which floated so slowly toward the goal that Attinella actually made a second attempt at saving the shot after his initial dive left proved foolish. Alas, he had no chance as Ibrahimovic strolled to the endline and celebrated yet another game-winning goal.