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News / Sports / Soccer

Timbers win delayed home opener over Sporting Kansas City 1-0

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published: February 28, 2023, 8:05am

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Juan Mosquera scored an early goal and the Portland Timbers defeated Sporting Kansas City 1-0 on Monday night in a match rescheduled because of snow and frigid temperatures.

Mosquera scored his first career MLS goal in the sixth minute. The Colombian defender signed with the Timbers last season and appeared in three games.

Mosquera’s goal was Portland’s 600th in MLS play since joining the league in 2011. Giovanni Savarese earned his 69th victory with the team, making him Portland’s winningest coach.

“For me it was a great feeling to be able to help the team, because of course with the goal we were able to get the first three points of the year,” Mosquera said through a translator. “So I just hope to keep going that way, and to me the most important thing is to be able to help the team.”

The match was originally scheduled for Major League Soccer’s opening day on Saturday but a rare snowstorm dumped more than six inches of snow on downtown Portland earlier in the week. That, combined with freezing temperatures, forced the postponement.

It was still cold on Monday, with temperatures hovering around freezing and occasional sleet.

The Timbers missed the playoffs last season, finishing eighth in the Western Conference. In the offseason they added Brazilian midfielder Evander, who started against Sporting.

Portland was hurt when winger Yimmi Chara was injured in the opening half and replaced by Santiago Moreno. Portland started David Bingham in goal while last season’s starter, Aljaz Ivacic, sat out with a hand injury.

After the match, Savarese said Chara injured his hamstring and is likely to be out several weeks.

Sporting dominated possession for much of the second half. Daniel Salloi had a good opportunity in the 76th minute for Kansas City, but Bingham dove to make the save. Bingham finished with four saves.

“We were all over their goal, all over them,” Sporting coach Peter Vermes said. “It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get one in.”

Sporting KC also missed the playoffs last season, finishing 12th in the West.

Forward Alan Pulido, who was questionable for the game because of a knee injury, did not play. There were rumors in the offseason that Pulido might be moved to Chivas in Liga MX.

Sporting captain Johnny Russell was also ruled out because of a hamstring injury.

Kansas City leads the all-time series with the Timbers 8-6-6.