Portland Timbers 2, Toronto FC 1 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
A perfectly sunny day in Portland brought the home team good luck at Providence Park on Sunday as Toronto FC visited the Portland Timbers an the end of an eight-game road streak. The Canadians would head back home defeated, the victims of a deadly Fanendo Adi and Diego Valeri combination.
Things started out promising for the home side early when Adi provided some goal-scoring magic at the 17th minute. That’s when Darren Mattocks and Valeri served him up some smooth passing that he coolly slotted past Toronto goalkeeper Clint Irwin.
But Toronto wouldn’t stay down long, with an equalizer coming as the first half drained--and, this time, it wasn’t actually from Sebastian Giovinco. Instead, the Atomic Ant provided an assist to none other than ex-Timber Will Johnson, who, in the 40th minute, scored his first goal for both Toronto and the 2016 MLS season.
Valeri, though, pretty much extinguished Toronto hopes at the 74th minute, when he converted a heart-stopping free-kick to edge the Timbers up 2-1. Toronto tried to up their own attacking pressure, but Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson denied every last shot and secured his side's win.
- 17' -- POR -- Fanendo Adi (Diego Valeri, Darren Mattocks)
- 40' -- TOR -- Will Johnson (Sebastian Giovinco)
- 74' -- POR -- Diego Valeri
- Full box score
- FANENDO ADI ALL DAY: Timbers fans are no doubt celebrating Fanendo Adi for making easy work of Toronto defense yet again. His 17th-minute goal made his seventh of the 2016 MLS season—and, also, his team’s leader in scoring. He also continued to create dangerous chances throughout the second half, never relenting on the pressure.
- MORE KILLER FREE KICKS: This 2016 MLS regular season may be on target for a free kick record. Back in March, the third MLS weekend of 2016 boasted four free kick goals in one day—the most in one day in the league’s history. Since then, the madness has only continued, with Valeri’s latest golazo adding to the tally on a weekend that also saw a beauty from Montreal Impact's Didier Drogba.
- WELCOME BACK, WILL JOHNSON: MLS veteran Johnson looked stunned and stoic after his first-half equalizer for Toronto—clearly the emotion of the moment weighed on him. The game marked his first return to Providence Park since he was traded away from the Timbers, and the team’s ex-captain proved his tenacious, versatile style works with his new squad, too.
- GOOD MAN, GLEESON: Okay, we added a fourth thing here, just to celebrate the game's four jaw-dropping saves by Timbers 'keeper Gleeson.