Professional Soccer

Timbers Record League Leading 10th Shutout With 1-0 Win Over Chicago Fire


PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers registered their league-leading 10th shutout of the season and moved into fourth place in the MLS Western Conference standings with a 1-0 win against the Chicago Fire before a sellout crowd of 21,144 fans at Providence Park on Friday night.

The win marked Portland’s second consecutive clean sheet following a scoreless draw on the road against San Jose on Aug. 2, and moved the Timbers just three points shy of first-place Vancouver Whitecaps FC with 10 games remaining on the regular-season schedule. Additionally, Portland improved its home unbeaten streak to eight consecutive games (6-0-2), dating back to May 2.

Conceding just two goals in its last eight home matches, Portland (10-8-6, 36pts) found the game-winning goal off the foot of forward Fanendo Adi in the 48th minute as he finished a rebound from close range. During the buildup to the goal, midfielder Will Johnson delivered a long pass in the air to midfielder Diego Valeri on the right side of the box. Doing well to settle the long pass with one touch, Valeri then sent a low drive toward goal that Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson parried directly to Adi, who converted from point-blank range.

The Timbers saw several chances to double their lead late in the match as substitute forward Lucas Melano caused problems for the Chicago defense, firing four shots in 22 minutes of action. Soon after entering the match, Melano held off several defenders near the top of the box before pulling a low shot just wide of the left post in the 78th minute.

Goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey made three saves to earn his league-leading 10th shutout of the season. Rarely tested in the second half, Kwarasey came up with a critical stop on a shot from just inside the box by midfielder Razvan Cocis in the 87th minute.

Next up, the Timbers hit the road to face Western Conference foe Real Salt Lake on Saturday, Aug. 15, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah; kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (Pacific). The match against Real Salt Lake will be broadcast live on ROOT SPORTS with a local radio broadcast on 750/102.9 The Game and in Spanish on La GranD 93.5 FM.