The Portland Timbers ended an eleven-game winless run stretching back three years against Real Salt Lake by securing a 3-1 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night, making it two losses on the bounce for RSL after their unbeaten run came to an end last week. Here are our takeaways from the game:
1. If you start him, he will score.
Fanendo Adi scored his second brace since joining Portland on loan last month and the powerful striker has been excellent so far. He has now scored a brace in both of his starts and is proving to be a real handful for defenders. Caleb Porter has to keep Adi in the side from now as the 23-year-old is really putting some fine performances in.
2. Real Salt Lake missing their stars.
After their 16-game unbeaten streak in MLS came to an end in Seattle last week, RSL would have hoped to get back to winning ways against the Timbers but they didn’t look their best once again. They are desperately missing Kyle Beckerman in midfield, and Nick Rimando is also away with the USMNT. Their key striker is also set to be out for a while as Alvaro Saborio has broken his foot while away with Costa Rica in preparation for the World Cup. They will certainly welcome the upcoming two-week break.
3. Darlington Nagbe is explosive.
Nagbe was a threat throughout, and thrived from the change of tactic that saw the Timbers counter-attack Real Salt Lake. The 23-year-old’s shot led to Adi’s goal and he drew two fouls from Tony Beltran which saw the defender sent off in a space of less than two minutes. His end product could be better but when he attacks he causes problems and the Timbers look dangerous in attack now.