PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Absence makes the heart grow fonder, 401 days later the Timbers were back inside of Providence Park with actual fans in the seats. 15% capacity, so about 3,800 socially distanced supporters. Some is certainly better than none in “Soccer City USA.”
Stepping into the new season with the second leg in the round of 16 in the CONCACAF Champions League, the Timbers kicked the doors down against CD Marathón from Honduras. The two teams played to a 2-2 road draw last week.
Yimmi Chara played like the designated player the club brought him in to be. The younger Chara brother had not one but two goals in the first half. Dairon Asprilla with the assists on the brace.
Diego Valeri cashed in his second goal in as many matches. New leftback Josecarlos Van Rankin notched his second assist. Shots on target were 10 to 2.
Two then became three for Yimmi, just the second MLS player to ever notch a hat trick in CCL play. Steve Clark had a clean sheet in the goal, while Marvin Loria racked up his third goal in three years.
The team earned its first ever bid in the Champions League quarterfinal, 7-2 on aggregate. The next round will be in three weeks against either Club America or Olympia.
With a season that runs from now to November, we just might see a full house before seasons end. Portland’s 11th season in MLS kicks off next Sunday against Vancouver, but in Utah, as only essential travel is allowed in and out of Canada.