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Minnesota United Drops Major League Soccer Debut in Portland

Portland Timbers' Sebastian Blanco (10) works with the ball against Minnesota United's Justin Davis (2) in an MLS soccer match Friday, March 3, 2017, in Portland, Ore. Photo: (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP)
Portland Timbers' Sebastian Blanco (10) works with the ball against Minnesota United's Justin Davis (2) in an MLS soccer match Friday, March 3, 2017, in Portland, Ore.

March 03, 2017 11:39 PM

Minnesota United got off to a slow start, saw their first-ever MLS goal deliver a glimmer of hope, but came apart in the end in losing their Major League Soccer debut 5-1 at Portland.

Off a free kick from near the corner 14-minutes in, Portland's Lawrence Odum awkwardly volleyed a ball that bounced over United goalie John Alvbåge to open the scoring, sending the game to halftime with Portland leading 1-0.

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If United's spirits remained high facing just a one-goal deficit at the break, they were quickly dampened in the second half.

Just two minutes into the half, Portland's Diego Valeri made it a 2-0 Timbers lead.

A familiar face appeared in the late-going to give United thoughts of a rally.

Just ten minutes after subbing into the game, Christian Ramirez scored the United's first-ever MLS goal.

United's former NASL scoring champ spun high in the box in the 79th minute and sent the trivia-question-answer goal skidding along the ground and into the net.

Ramirez goal filled United's sails with newfound wind, but the boost was short-lived.

Just three minutes later, United captain Vadim Demidov clearly pulled Portland's Fanendo Adi down in the box setting up a Valeri penalty kick conversion for his second goal of the game.

Adi scored twice in added time as the United defense came apart, giving the Timbers a resounding 5-1 win, spoiling United's debut.

United is off until Sunday, March 12th when they host fellow MLS expansion club Atlanta United in the first-ever home game at TCF Bank Stadium.

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KSTP Sports

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