Union fall to Portland

Posted: May 07, 2011

PORTLAND, Ore. - It's been hard for almost any visiting team to get a result at the Portland Timbers' cozy Jeld-Wen Field so far in this Major League Soccer season. Last night, the Union was tasked with taking points without two of its most important players: Danny Califf, who sat out with a cold, and Jordan Harvey, who was suspended.

For most of the game, the Union's makeshift backline held firm. But it was finally beaten in the 72nd minute on a set-piece goal by Mamadou Danso, and lost, 1-0, before 18,627 raucous fans.

Peter Nowak started twins Gabriel and Michael Farfan in place of Califf and Harvey. The two joined veterans Carlos Valdes and Sheanon Williams, and all four held their composure well early.

Buoyed by the electric atmosphere created by the Timbers Army, forwards Kenny Cooper and Jorge Perlaza made a number of sharp runs for Portland (4-3-1, 13 points) into the Union's 18-yard box in the first 30 minutes. But they couldn't produce any quality chances, and goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon cleaned up any loose balls that came his way.

The Union (4-2-1, 13 points) finally got a few chances late in the first half. The best came in the 43rd minute, when Danny Mwanga broke free on the right side and played a cross that was intercepted and redirected to Sebastien Le Toux in the middle of the 18-yard box. But with a defender on his back, Le Toux could only shoot the ball into keeper Troy Perkins' path.

In the 70th minute, Mwanga dribbled past multiple defenders and laid a pass for Justin Mapp on the right flank. Mapp's cross found Carlos Ruiz, who could not get the shot on target.

In the 72nd minute, Jack Jewsbury took a free kick from midway into the Union's half of the field, and Danso headed the ball past a helpless Mondragon. *

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