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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Timbers Cut Down In Their MLS Debut, But That First Goal Still Sounded Fresh

Posted by Brian Gjurgevich on Sun, Mar 20, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Wanna hear what the first MLS goal in Timbers history sounded like inside the sold-out Bagdad Theater?

Unfortunately for the hundreds of Timbers Army packed into the dark, sprawling movie house — not to mention the hundreds more who traveled to Commerce City for the opener —┬áKenny Cooper's historic goal in the 80th minute came with Portland down 3-0 and the match all but out of reach. The reigning MLS Cup champs looked like the champs, and at times, the Timbers looked like, well, an expansion club. The result? Colorado 3, Portland 1.

More thoughts on the game, the team, the fans and some EXTRA TIME links to fill your browser after the jump.

Colorado was the aggressor and stung (stunned?) Portland with three first-half goals —┬áthe latter two right on top of each other. Portland's defense looked out of sorts and there were moments when lack of communication and cohesion were on display. Team owner Merritt Paulson called his club's first 45 minutes "the Murphy's Law of first halves," and the suddenly tense feeling in the Bagdad certainly matched Paulson's notion.

The second half was more competitive, and Cooper's goal certainly put a little bit of spring in fans' steps as they poured onto Hawthorne Boulevard, some still chanting.

Joey Dittmer of Southwest Portland made his way from the back rows of the Bagdad after the game to lead some cheers following the Timbers 3-1 loss to Colorado on Saturday.
  • Joey Dittmer of Southwest Portland ran up from the back rows of the Bagdad just as the match ended, hopped on the stage and led cheers following the Timbers' 3-1 loss to Colorado on Saturday.

EXTRA TIME: Links to help you deal.
* Andrew Brawley of Timbers Army says the rest of the MLS-supporters scene was officially put on notice with the TA’s presence on Saturday.
* Rachel Bachman of The O says despite the loss, the TA earned its first stripes.
* OregonLive's Thomas Boyd wanders the Dick's Sporting Goods Park lot for some sights and sounds around the Timbers Army. Note the seven kegs at the tailgater.
* Soccer-loather John Canzano says the players themselves were about the only thing not major league in Commerce City and (one game in) lays out his vision for how the franchise could fall flat.
* Geoffrey C. Arnold of The O says the Timbers wish they had a do-over.
* MLSsoccer.com’s official rundown says the defending-champion Rapids were just “too strong” but that didn’t stop fans from gathering to cheer throughout the Rose City.
* Doug Binder of MLSsoccer.com says the Rapids gave the Timbers a “wake-up call” but that the team's debut "means everything" to the fans who traveled.
* Ryan Gates of Stumptown Footy says the Timbers played nervous in their opener and Kenny Ocker says the team’s already-suspect defense was exposed.
* Mao on Football says the Timbers were “dismantled” due to a “porous defense.”
* Timbers Insider Kelly McClain offers his match report and says tentative play and unforced errors gave Colorado all it needed.
* Steve Brandon of the Portland Tribune says the Timbers' loss has more to with cold feet than shell-shock.
* Adam Sparks of Yahoo! Sports isn’t panicking just yet, saying he has “no doubt” the Timbers will bounce back.
* More match-day photos from Timbers FC Facebook stream from Craig Mitchelldyer.

One more look at Cooper's goal:

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