It might have felt like four degrees at kick-off, but the cold didn’t seem to bother the Colorado Rapids. The Burgundy Boys were getting forward and attacking from the starting whistle and Kei Kamara scored the first goal in the 16th minute. A tough handball in the box took them down to 10 men during the first half, but they fought through it and ended up coming back and tying it twice to get away with a point. This is a very different team than the 2018 squad and there were many times that I even forgot we were playing a man down.
The Portland Timbers had a couple of chances in the first half but didn’t capitalize on anything. In the 16th minute, Dillon Serna linked up with Kellyn Acosta, who sent the ball through the box to an oncoming Kei Kamara.
Unfortunately, about 10 minutes later, Axel Sjoberg was shown a red card for a handball in the box. The play was reviewed and determined that it was an intentional handball, so Sjoberg was ejected from the game and the Rapids went down to 10 men. The Timbers were awarded a penalty kick that Tim Howard saved, but the ball rebounded right back in front of the goal to Diego Valeri.
Danny Wilson subbed in for Diego Rubio and then Jack Price came in for Cole Bassett a few minutes later.
Howard made a great save towards the end of the half but then Sebastian Blanco scored off the corner to put Portland ahead 2-1 at the half.
The snow started really coming down towards the end of the first half and the grounds crew came out to use a leaf blower to clear the snow from the main lines on the field. Just seconds into the second half, Benny Feilhaber made a couple of moves, dribbled into the 18-yard-box and opened his Rapids scoring account to tie it up 2-2.
The Rapids were playing well and then Timbers midfielder Andy Polo made a run up the right side, shot the ball, and it redirected off Deklan Wynne’s foot. Unfortunately, that was all it took to put it in the back of the net for an own goal that put Portland up 3-2.
Hudson saved his final sub for the 77th minute, bringing in Andre Shinyashiki for Acosta. It seemed as though the Rapids were going to take a loss for their first game, but Dillon Serna took a shot that was deflected and Shinyashiki tapped in the rebound to get the Burgundy Boys a hard-fought point.
What did you think of the game? How are you feeling about the 2019 squad?