Mar 12, 2012; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins (1) punches the ball during the game against the Philadelphia Union at Jeld-Wen Field. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE
A tentative and reactionary Philadelphia Union squad left Portland without a point, dropping their season opener 3-1.
Despite the wealth of attacking talent, tt was not until Gabriel Gomez took a long free kick, in the second half, that the Union had an attempt go toward the goal and trouble opposing goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
Gomez sent in the free kick toward Portland's far post and it curled inward toward the goal. No Union player was able to reach it, but Andrew Jean-Baptiste, a rookie defender for the Timbers, accidentally headed the ball backward into his own net in the 51st minute.
The goal was originally ruled for Gomez, then switched to an own goal on Jean-Baptiste, before finally being credited to Gomez once again.
Jean-Baptiste did not waste much time in making up for his mistake, as he headed in a goal of his own only minutes later, in the 54th. Jack Jewsbury place a free kick toward Jean-Baptiste, and the Generation Adidas center defender placed it to the far post.
Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath read the ball well, diving to meet it, only to have the wet weather adversely affect his save attempt. The ball seemed to slip through the younger goalkeeper's hands and he was unable to do more than turn around and watch the ball roll to the back of the net.
From that point on, the Union looked like a different team.
Scottish striker Kris Boyd nodded in a goal, in his MLS debut, from a cross by Kalif Alhassan with yet another far post attempt. MacMath was forced to stare as the ball floated into the net from the streaking Boyd.
Ten minutes later, Alhassan netted his own goal with a sublime lob shot - or a mishit cross - ten minutes later. A quick free kick from Alhassan went to Jewsbury, who fed it back almost immediately to the Ghanian winger.
The remaining 15 minutes of the game were rather uneventful for the Union, leaving much to be desired offensively, defensively and in the midfield, en route to leaving Portland with a loss.
Sunday marks the home opener for the Union, when they will face the Colorado Rapids at PPL Park looking to gain their first points of the season.