Members of the Timbers Army cheer on their team, the Portland Timbers and the LA Galaxy. Photo: Portland Timbers
The Portland Timbers defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy 4-0 in front of 16,235 fans at Providence Park in the Round of 16 in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
With the win, the Timbers advance to the Quarterfinals for the second year in a row and will play that game on the road against the winner of Thursday’s match between Los Angeles FC and the San Jose Earthquakes. That game will be played on July 10.
The Timbers came out with a mostly first-choice lineup, with seven players in the Starting XI who feature regularly in the majority of matches for the squad this season, while the Galaxy only featured Daniel Steres from their first-choice XI.
The match started out with both sides trading infrequent chances through the first 20 minutes, but the Timbers quickly took control of the match in the 27th minute, as Brian Fernandez put a glancing header into the path of Galaxy midfielder Petty Kitchen, who put the ball in the back of his own net.
While the goal was initially given to Fernandez, it was later credited as an own goal.
Fernandez didn’t have to wait long to get another chance. In the 34th minute, Sebastian Blanco played the ball up to Jeremy Ebobisse, who was toeing the line of the Galaxy defense. Ebobisse brought the ball in and attempted to chip Galaxy goalkeeper Matt Lampson, and as the ball was heading wide of goal, Fernandez pounced on the ball, easily netting his third goal of the tournament and his seventh goal in all competitions in his first five matches with the Timbers.
The Timbers didn’t wait long to put the match completely out of reach for the Galaxy, as Sebastian Blanco quickly added his name to the scoresheet in the 37th minute. Using a couple of touches to get past Galaxy midfielder Servando Carrasco, Blanco unleashed a shot into the upper 90 to give the Timbers a 3-0 lead, his second career goal in the US Open Cup. His first came in last year’s game-winner in the Round of 16, also against the Galaxy.
The Timbers would continue their dominant play to close the first half and through the first part of the second half, with several chances coming out of the break, though the Galaxy did have a few opportunities to find the back of the net.
While the match was in hand, the Timbers were not done on the scoresheet. In the 82nd minute, Fernandez found Diego Valeri, who had recently come into the match. Valeri tapped the ball over to Jorge Moreira, who hit the ball in stride for the Timbers fourth and final goal of the night and his second goal of the season.
While the match was decided, the Galaxy still pushed for a consolation goal, with two of their best chances of the evening coming in the 86th minute, as Ethan Zubak found himself along in front of the goal, but he badly scuffed his shot. Moments later, the goalpost kept the shutout alive for the Timbers, as Steve Clark earned his first shutout of 2019.
The victory marked the third time in US Open Cup play that the Timbers have scored at least four goals in a US Open Cup. The Timbers previously defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads (USL) 5-1 in 2013 and the Kitsap Pumas (USL League Two) 4-1 in 2010.
With the Galaxy bowing out of the tournament, it is guaranteed that there will be a first-time US Open Cup Champion. This is the first time this has occurred since MLS’ inception in 1996, and only the 8th time in the 106-year history of the competition (1915, 1925, 1933, 1946, 1984, 1992, 1996, 2019).