The Portland Timbers defeated the Columbus Crew Saturday night in Portland’s newly renovated Jeld-Wen Field, 1-0. Former Crew and Ohio State player (and Dublin, Ohio native), Eric Brunner, scored the only goal. With the win, Portland moved to 5-3-2 on the season (17 points). They have won all five of their home games this year. The Crew are now 3-3-4 (13 points). They are 0-3-2 on the road this season.
The Crew started the game in a 4-4-2 formation for the first time this season since the opening day loss v. D.C. United. The two starting forwards that day were Jeff Cunningham and Designated Player Andres Mendoza. The two starters Saturday night were Emilio Renteria and Tommy Heinemann.
Columbus had their best chance to score in the first half. Heinemann, making his first ever MLS start, had a diving header off a cross by Mendoza saved by Timbers goalie and Ohio native Troy Perkins.
The first half ended 0-0. The scoreless half was the Crew’s tenth in a row, breaking the all time MLS record for most consecutive scoreless first halves to start a season.
In the first minute of the second half, Portland scored the only goal of the game. Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury played a fast free kick to midfielder Kalif Alhassan. Alhassan crossed the ball to the back post, and Brunner lost defender Julius James and headed it past Crew goalie William Hesmer and into the net.
The Crew return to Columbus to play against Chivas USA next Saturday. The Timbers play Dutch champions Ajax in a friendly match at Jeld-Wen Field Wednesday.
Columbus Crew – William Hesmer, Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Julius James, Rich Balchan, Eddie Gaven, Emmanuel Ekpo, Dejan Rusmir (Dilly Duka 65), Robbie Rogers, Tommy Heinemann (Jeff Cunningham 74), Emilio Renteria (Andres Mendoza 38).
Portland Timbers – Troy Perkins, Jeremy Hall, Eric Brunner, Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace, Darlington Nagbe (Sal Zizzo 46), Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Kalif Alhassan (James Marcelin 89), Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza (Ryan Pore 84).