The Portland Timbers (0-2)put in a lazy performance on Saturday in New York, falling 4-0 to a New York Red Bulls (1-1) side that started only two players from their last CONCACAF Champions League match against Tijuana. Their starting lineup instead consisted of multiple Red Bulls II players including 17-year-old Ben Mines who scored the opening goal in his debut with the senior team. Portland barely tested the Red Bulls, registering only one shot on target despite having the majority of ball possession in the second half.
The opening goal for New York came in the 18th minute of the match as the home side were outnumbered by defenders on the possession but still managed to weave the ball around the defender before finding a wide open Mines at the back post.
Derrick Etienne began the play with a beautiful back heel to Carlos Rivas before spinning around an approaching Liam Ridgewell to receive the ball back from Rivas. Despite having multiple defenders around him, Etienne gave a short pass to Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra who made a sublime pass to a sliding Mines who found the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
Portland continued its ball possession dominance in the second half by making quick smart passes and closing down the Red Bulls passing lanes. When they reached the final third the Timbers lacked communication and creativity between the attacking players, resulting in wasted opportunities.
The second goal for New York came off a corner kick in the 77th minute with only four attackers in the box. Sean Davis flicked a header towards substitute Bradley Wright-Phillips who was guarding Fanendo Adi.
Adi swiped the ball with his foot and missed badly giving Wright-Phillips a free header to snap to the back of the Timbers net for the Red Bulls second goal of the game.
After conceding the second goal, the Timbers will to fight was spent. The visitors o conceded a third goal three minutes after the second on. Vincent Bezecourt made a perfectly weighted chip over the Timbers defense to an unmarked Rivas who calmly slotted the ball past Jake Gleeson far post.
New York punished the Timbers in stoppage time as Rivas scored his second of the match in the 93rd minute. Much like the first goal, the Red Bulls simply passed around a Portland defense that seemed as though they had no desire to stop the ball.
New York had lots of space to work with as Wright-Phillips was able to find Connor Lade inside the left half of the 18-yard-box completely unmarked. Lade used his first touch to pass back across goal to a wide open Rivas for a tap-in.
Giovanni Savarese will have his work cut out for him over the next two weeks as his side prepares for a road trip to Dallas on Saturday, March 24th still looking for his first points as Timbers head coach.