Portland, OR (May 6, 2011) – On a rainy Friday night in Portland, a shorthanded Philadelphia Union fell 1-0 to the Timbers at JELD-WEN Field. Defender Mamadou “Futty” Danso headed a Jack Jewsbury free kick inside the near post in the 72nd minute, and Portland were able to keep Philadelphia scoreless in front of a sell out crowd.
The Union were playing without starting defenders Danny Califf (illness) and Jordan Harvey (red card suspension), but twin brothers Gabriel and Michael Farfan stepped in and put in strong performances in their first MLS starts. Sheanon Williams pushed into the middle alongside Carlos Valdes, and the makeshift defense played admirably throughout.
The Union offense sputtered, though, continuing their early season struggles. Philadelphia have only managed five goals through seven league matches.
Philadelphia’s best chance of the first half came in the 39th minute after Danny Mwanga beat Danso along the right touchline. Dribbling on an angle into the area, the second-year striker crossed for Carlos Ruiz, but Rodney Wallace poked it away just before Ruiz could tap home. The deflection fell to Sebastien Le Toux, Jewsbury tracked back and forced the Frenchman into taking an off-balance shot that was easily gathered by Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
Portland nearly scored a go-ahead goal of their own six minutes later. Jewsbury sent a free kick into the middle of a crowded area, and Eric Brunner skied to direct a header towards Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon. The attempt looked promising for the home side, but it harmlessly fell over the bar for a goal kick.
Neither side generated many scoring opportunities in the early portion of the second half, but Portland capitalized just past the midway mark of the final 45 minutes. After Amobi Okugo was whistled for a handball in Philadelphia’s defensive third, Jewsbury sent a curling free kick into the area that found the head of Danso. The physically imposing Gambian redirected the service past Mondragon, giving Portland the only goal they’d need.
The Union nearly equalized in the 86th minute when Le Toux was able to get off a close-range shot in traffic, but the attempt found Perkins, who was able to knock it down and gather before late substitute Jack McInerney could latch onto the rebound.
The Union face a quick turnaround following the loss, heading home to host the first place LA Galaxy on Wednesday night at PPL Park. The 7:30 p.m. match will air on The Comcast Network.
POR - Mamadou Danso 1 (Jack Jewsbury 3) 72’
POR -- Jorge Perlaza (caution; Reckless Tackle) 18
PHI -- Justin Mapp (caution; Reckless Tackle) 25
POR -- Eric Brunner (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 87
PHI -- Sheanon Williams (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 87
POR -- Rodney Wallace (caution; Delaying a Restart) 91+
Philadelphia Union -- Faryd Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Gabriel Farfan (Kyle Nakazawa 64), Carlos Valdes, Michael Farfan, Sebastien Le Toux, Justin Mapp (Roger Torres 78), Amobi Okugo (Jack McInerney 78), Brian Carroll, Danny Mwanga, Carlos Ruiz.
Substitutes Not Used: Chris Agorsor, Stefani Miglioranzi, Ryan Richter, Zac MacMath.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6; SHOTS ON GOAL: 2; FOULS: 13; OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 2
Portland Timbers -- Troy Perkins, Jeremy Hall, Eric Brunner, Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace, Darlington Nagbe (Sal Zizzo 57), Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Kalif Alhassan (James Marcelin 81), Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza (Ryan Pore 89).
Substitutes Not Used: David Horst, Adam Moffat, Steve Purdy, Jake Gleeson.
TOTAL SHOTS: 11; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 6; OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 2
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee's Assistants: Jason Cullum; Eric Proctor
4th Official: Drew Fischer