Mar 20, 12
Last Monday’s match between the Philadelphia Union and the Portland Timbers proved to be something of a special occasion for both clubs,
representing their first league encounter of the 2012 MLS campaign.
The clash, played at the JELD-WEN Field in Oregon, also featured the first-ever goal for Kris Boyd in a Timbers jersey. The Scot did not mince words describing the effort: “The ball came in. I got my head on
it, and it went to the back of the net”.
Boyd’s strike was just one of three put away by Portland, as the home side dispatched the Union 3-1. The result means that the northern club take joint-first in the Western Conference, with Real Salt Lake, and
four others. Those who had bet on soccer games in Portland’s favour
will have been delighted with the result.
It could have been a different story; the Union took the lead early in the second half, courtesy of Gabriel Gomez. However, the Timbers’ Andrew Jean-Baptiste ensured that the visitors’ advantage lasted less
than three minutes.
Boyd, who is perhaps better known as the all-time leading scorer in the Scottish Premier League, kicked Portland into the lead just after
the hour mark, heading home a cross from Kalif Alhassan.
Then, with driving rain and strong winds making play difficult, Alhassan, the Timbers’ Ghanaian midfielder, shut Philadelphia out of the fixture with a goal 14 minutes before the final whistle at the
Portland coach, John Spencer, was particularly impressed with Boyd’s contribution to the Timbers’ first league win of the year. “I’m hoping that he can go on, stay healthy, go on to score a lot of goals and become a legend here.” Although it is early days to make such
pronouncements, soccer betting tips suggest that Boyd will go on to
make a significant contribution to MLS.
Jean-Baptiste was rather more impressed with the sell-out crowd, which consisted of 20,438 supporters. “It’s pretty exciting. I wasn’t
expecting that many people”, the Haitian-American defender said.