September 5th, 2012 by Kelly McLain
The Portland Timbers got off to a shaky start Wednesday night against the Colorado Rapids when a shot rattled Donovan Ricketts’ near post a mere 60 seconds into the match. Five minutes later the Rapids got their first goal of the night and the home side never looked back en route to a 3-0 victory over Portland at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“By and large I can’t fault the effort or the work rate of the guys,” interim manager Gavin Wilkinson told reporters after the match. “That’s an improvement from last time we came here, where we sat back and didn’t play much and the other team had 60 percent of the ball. Tonight I think we kept the ball a little bit better, we did try to create chances. It’s still a young team. We’re looking for maturity and we need to learn from this.”
The Timbers managed a few half-chances in the first period, primarily through wingers Sal Zizzo and Franck Songo’o, but couldn’t get a single attempt on target. Colorado had no such problems, however, getting goals from Andre Akpan in the 6th minute and Tony Cascio in the 27th.
Portland (7-13-7, 27 pts.) came out improved after the intermission, but for all their forays into Colorado’s half, they were unable to find the back of the net. The Rapids added their third goal in the 86th when the Timbers failed to clear a corner and Jaime Castrillon headed the ball between Ricketts’ legs.
Left back Steven Smith picked up a yellow card, his fifth this year, and will serve a mandatory suspension for Portland’s next match.
“I think because of the results on the road, people maybe make a lot more out of their performance than what it actually was,” said Smith. “I think we’ve played well recently. I don’t think we played well in the second half at home against Colorado, so maybe that kind of got a little bit into the game tonight. There’s something that’s maybe dragging us down a little bit, the form on the road, and we’ve got to get a result somewhere.”
After a five day respite, the Timbers once again occupy the bottom spot in the Western Conference standings. The team has a 10-day break before hosting Seattle at JELD-WEN Field for their second of three clashes.