Professional Soccer

Timbers Register 1-0 Road Win Against Real Salt Lake

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SANDY, Utah – Recording a 15-7 advantage in shots, including a 5-2 edge on goal, the Portland Timbers registered their league-leading 13th shutout of the season in a 1-0 road win against Western Conference foe Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night in front of 19,457 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

Forward Fanendo Adi converted a penalty kick in the 54th minute with a right-footed drive to the lower left corner after forward Lucas Melano got behind the Real Salt Lake defense to draw the spot kick in the 52nd minute. Real Salt Lake defender Jamison Olave was issued a red card for the infraction and the home side was forced to play a man down for the final 38 minutes.

With the victory, Portland’s third consecutive road win at Rio Tinto Stadium since 2014, the Timbers (13-11-8, 47pts) moved three points clear of the San Jose Earthquakes and into a tie on points with Seattle Sounders FC for the fifth spot in the Western Conference standings with two matches remaining on the regular-season schedule. Following Wednesday’s match, Portland is just three points shy of Vancouver Whitecaps FC (50) in third place and one point behind Sporting Kansas City (48) in fourth place.

Even before gaining an advantage following the red card to Olave, Portland generated the better chances during the match as Adi saw a glancing effort from close range smothered on the goal line by Real Salt Lake (11-13-8, 41pts) goalkeeper Nick Rimando in the 21st minute. Later in the first half, Adi saw an attempt from the top of the box parried away. Portland finished the first half with a 7-3 lead on total shots, holding Real Salt Lake to zero attempts on goal.

In the second half, midfielder Rodney Wallace saw a close-range effort blocked by Rimando in the 65th minute.

Adi and midfielder Diego Valeri ended the match with four shots each, with Adi recording a team-high three shots on goal.

Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey came up with two important saves in the second half, forcing a well-struck effort from midfielder Javier Morales over the crossbar in the 69th minute and doing well to guide a deflected shot away from the net in the first minute of second-half stoppage time as Real Salt Lake pressed forward.

On a quick turnaround, the Timbers travel to take on the LA Galaxy on Sunday, Oct. 18, at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.; kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. (Pacific). The match against the Galaxy will feature a live national broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes with a local radio broadcast on 750/102.9 The Game and in Spanish on La GranD 93.5 FM.

Notes:

·         Wednesday’s match marked head coach Caleb Porter’s 100th career regular-season game. Porter’s record of 39-25-36 ties him with Dominic Kinnear for fewest losses in an MLS head coach’s first 100 career games.

·         The victory marked Portland’s 13th on the road since the beginning of the 2014 season, which is a league best over the last two seasons.

·         Midfielder Darlington Nagbe made his 158th career appearance for the Timbers on Wednesday, moving two games shy of tying NASL midfielder Willie Anderson (160) for first place on the team’s all-time leaderboard for games played across all eras.

·         Portland is 5-0-2 in matches immediately following a home loss since 2013, with each of the seven matches coming on the road.

·         The Timbers are 13-3-9 overall immediately following a loss since 2013, including a mark of 6-1-4 this season.

·         Portland has held Real Salt Lake without a goal in four consecutive regular-season matches, dating back to the end of the 2014 season.

·         The Timbers earned their third consecutive regular-season win at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday night. Since 2014, Real Salt Lake has lost just four regular-season home games, three of which have come against the Timbers.

·         Portland has held Real Salt Lake without a goal in regular-season play for 427 consecutive minutes, dating back to June 7, 2014.

·         With the clean sheet, the Timbers registered their league-leading 13th shutout of the season, while goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey moved into sole possession of second place on the team’s single-season shutouts list. Kwarasey is one shutout shy of tying the club’s single-season record (14) across all eras, jointly held by Donovan Ricketts (2013) and USL goalkeeper Josh Wicks (2007).

·         Portland has won consecutive road games, including a 2-1 win against Columbus Crew SC on Sept. 26.

·         The Timbers improved their record at Rio Tinto Stadium to 3-4-1 overall since 2011.

·         Forward Fanendo Adi registered his 13th goal of the season on Wednesday, tying USL Timbers Dan Antoniuk (2005) and Mark Baena (2001) and NASL Timbers player Ron Futcher (1982) for seventh-place on the team’s single-season goal-scoring list across all eras.

·         Adi’s 22 career MLS goals is one shy of tying midfielder Diego Valeri (23) for the Timbers MLS-club career record.

·         Defender Alvas Powell registered his 50th career MLS appearance for the Timbers since joining the team as a 19-year-old in 2013.

·         Since 2013, the Timbers have posted a record of 11-3-7 overall during the months of September and October, including a mark of 5-1-3 on the road.

·         Portland moved three points clear of the San Jose Earthquakes (44pts) and into a tie on points with Seattle Sounders FC for fifth place in the Western Conference standings with Wednesday’s win. The Timbers are just three points behind Vancouver Whitecaps FC (50) in third place.

·         Portland’s 35 clean sheets since the start of the 2013 season rank as the most in MLS over the last three seasons.