Portland Timbers 1, New York City FC 2 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
New York City FC moved into a tie atop the Eastern Conference as timely goals by David Villa and Tommy McNamara and a stalwart team defensive performance gave them their third straight league win on Sunday night in rainy Portland against the defending MLS Cup champions.
The Timbers, who suffered their third straight league loss for the first time since 2012, had momentarily equalized through Fanendo Adi in the 55th minute, but the big target forward came out just three minutes later after tweaking his left hamstring.
Instead of capitulating under the heavy Timbers attacking pressure, NYCFC responded to the Timbers goal and enjoyed their best stretch of the match, capped by a wonder goal from McNamara, who scored another of his patented curling upper 90 finishes.
With their goals, both Villa and Adi joined Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco atop the MLS Golden Boot charts for most goals in the league with eight.
- 12' – NYC – David Villa (RJ Allen)
- 55' – POR – Fanendo Adi (Darlington Nagbe)
- 65' – NYC – Thomas McNamara (Andrea Pirlo)
- Full box score
- Watch Highlights
- CONTROVERSIAL OPENER: The first goal by NYCFC in the 12th minute was not without debate. Timbers supporters chanted “hand ball” after seeing replays of NYCFC right back RJ Allen stripping Darlington Nagbe of the ball near midfield. Then Allen promptly delivered one of the assists of the season, threading a splitting through ball to Villa, who applied the classy finish.
- ADI'S EXIT THE TURNING POINT: With Portland thoroughly dominating in shots and possession, Adi’s 55th-minute tying goal felt like it could open the floodgates for the Timbers. But his exit due to injury seemed to take the wind out of Portland's sails and NYCFC mustered a convincing response, pushing numbers forward and scoring the winner through McNamara.
- BENDING, BUT NOT BREAKING: The defensive heroes for NYCFC were center back Jason Hernandez, who had an MLS season-high five blocks in the penalty area, including one which saw his jersey ripped off his back, and goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who started his career with the Timbers when they were a USL team back in 2003. The NYCFC netminder came up with seven saves in total, including two spectacular stops in the opening minutes of the second half.
They Said It
Caleb Porter's reaction: "As cruel of a game as I've been part of. We dominated." Calls it a "travesty" to not get any points. #RCTID— Caitlin Murray (@caitlinmurr) May 16, 2016
Porter adds NY's 1st goal came after "a definite handball." Says if NYCFC hadn't scored the 2nd, Timbers would've won, no question. #RCTID— Caitlin Murray (@caitlinmurr) May 16, 2016
Caleb Porter, Portland Timbers head coach, in postgame press conference.
- POR: Sunday, May 22 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (4:30 pm ET, ESPN & TSN)
- NYC: Wednesday, May 18 at Toronto FC (7 pm ET; TSN4, RDS2 in Canada; MLS LIVE in USA)