Colorado Rapids 0, Portland Timbers 0 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
The return of Tim Howard to MLS for the Colorado Rapids proved a defensive battle that saw both sides grab a point as the Rapids and Portland Timbers finished level at 0-0.
The two teams played to a stalemate through the first half with the debutant Howard not asked to make a single save. The US national team goalkeeper, who has over 100 appearances in red, white and blue, showed off all his years of expertise by coming off his line to close down the angle on a Fanendo Adi breakaway shot, making it clear to his defenders that mistakes were not going to be tolerated.
There was more room to attack in the second half, as legs grew weary in the high altitude. Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson also came up with some key saves, while Howard continued to keep his back line on their toes, while getting help from the woodwork on two separate occasions.
- 1.21 Gigawatts!: Coming into tonight's match, Axel Sjoberg ranked first among MLS defenders with more than 900 minutes played with 6.1 clearances per 90 minutes, according to Opta numbers. Tonight it was Jared Watts and Eric Miller (5 each) who tied for the most Colorado clearances, with Watts often tasked to mark Adi in the final third.
- Pappa Don't Preach: The Rapids struggled to generate an attack for most of the game, and that showed in Marco Pappa coming off the bench in the 67th minute then going on to lead the team in key passes. Even with Pappa's influence, the Rapids didn't manage a shot on target from inside the penalty area.
- Timber Tactics: If any team was going to score tonight, the Timbers looked to be it, hitting the woodwork twice and requiring Howard to make a couple of key stops. Things have gone well for Portland against the Rapids as of late, unbeaten in all but one of their last nine meetings.
They Said It
Well done boys. Massive clean sheet and good performance from all— Ridgy 6 (@liam_ridgewell) July 5, 2016
Liam Ridgewell, Portland Timbers defender recovering from knee injury
- COL: Saturday, July 9 at Vancouver Whitecaps (7 pm ET, MLS LIVE)
- POR: Sunday, July 10 at New York Red Bulls (3 pm ET, ESPN2)