Four points against the reigning best teams of both divisions certainly isn't a bad start to the season, eh? It was a rather ugly and, on occasion, neigh unwatchable game between the Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers, but it ended in three points for the boys in burgundy.
Similar to last week against the New York Red Bulls, the Rapids came out quickly against the Timbers and controlled large chunks of the match. Prior to the game, Pablo Mastroeni told Altitude's sideline reporter Maya Starks that he was looking for the team to pressure and out-possess the Timbers early and try to nick an early goal. They came very close to following that blueprint perfectly, as Deshorn Brown got an early chance that Donovan Ricketts bobbled, but didn't let in.
Without an early goal in their books, Colorado began to sit back a bit after the 20th minute or so, and Portland were glad to take what the Rapids gave them. The second portion of the first half was all Portland, and they got several chances to score. Offside calls and a bit of tentative play, along with a few saves from John Berner, kept the scoreline level going into the half.
As the second half began, it looked like it was going to be an even slower affair than the first. Neither team had any real stonewall chances for the first 20 minutes or so. The worsening conditions didn't help matters. Fortunately, Dillon Powers, who had been quiet for the first 70 minutes, finally got a bit of magic in his foot to launch Deshorn Brown alone on goal. Ricketts tried to catch up to the ball, but instead whiffed on it and gave Brown a boot in the midsection and leg. After a few minutes of both players involved trying to compose themselves, Ricketts was given a red card and the Rapids were given a penalty kick, converted by Vicente Sanchez.
Only a minute after the penalty kick was converted, Ricketts' replacement Andrew Weber found himself in a one on one situation with Vicente Sanchez. Sanchez was taken down and another penalty was given. Brown missed the penalty, but was there to stuff home a rebound off of Weber to give the Rapids a quick 2-0 advantage.
There was only a bit of notable action following the penalty kicks. Jose Mari, who had a somewhat underwhelming performance overall during the course of the afternoon, was sent off for a challenge that earned him his second yellow card. Both teams had a few chances as the clock started to wind down, but Berner and Weber both did their duty to keep the scoreline the same, even though Berner had a scare at the very end when a shot from a corner pinged off of his crossbar.
With four points already from this tough two-game set, Colorado will look to continue surprising the world next Saturday when Sporting Kansas City, the defending MLS Cup champions, come into Commerce City.