Darwin Quintero's playmaking can't dig United out of early hole in 3-2 loss
PORTLAND, Ore. — Darwin Quintero's silky individual playmaking turned the momentum in Minnesota United's attempt to spoil the Portland Timbers' home opener on Saturday night, April 14.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first half, the Loons' new high-profile signing created for himself and broke through to score his first goal with the club in the 64th minute; it snapped Minnesota's 268-minute scoreless drought. Then after falling behind 3-1, Quintero's attacking pass to a streaking Abu Danladi set up a Timbers own goal with 10 minutes remaining.
But Minnesota's defensive issues, which included extending its MLS-worst streak of allowing goals in now 18 consecutive games, were too big a hole in a 3-2 loss at Providence Park.
The concessions stirred memories of the expansion franchise allowing five goals in its first MLS game in Portland last March. With FSN after the game, United coach Adrian Heath lamented the "crap" goals allowed, another harkening to a giveaway theme that stuck to Minnesota to 2017.
"I thought we were far and away the better team in the second half and large portions of the first," Heath told the media. "We gave two terrible goals away, which we've done a couple of times on the road."
The Timbers picked up their first win across six games this season, while the Loons (2-4) dropped their third consecutive match.
The actions of Minnesota center back Francisco Calvo didn't back up his post-match words about no respect for the Loons after a 1-0 loss to Atlanta two weeks ago. The Loons captain was put in a blender on Alvas Powell's goal in the 20th minute, which beat goalkeeper Matt Lampson at the near post. Calvo didn't cut off a run from Diego Valeri, the reigning league MVP, and he connected with Powell's cross in the 23rd minute.
"The first goal was criminal from our point of view," Heath said. "The fullback gets it near the halfway line, runs and smashes it in. That was poor from us and then the second one took a deflection from Valeri's path."
Afterward, Quintero, the club's first Designated Player, wasn't ready to savor his first goal with Minnesota.
"A quick play, I was able to beat two defenders and score under the goalkeeper's legs," Quintero told the media in Portland. "But when you score and the team doesn't win, it doesn't mean much."
Quintero had one shot in the first half as he played with his new team for the first time. Early in the second half, he eluded Timbers defenders to serve up a lofting pass that Christian Ramirez's head couldn't connect with.
Miguel Ibarra had Minnesota's best chances in his first half back in Portland. After being drafted and cut by the Timbers in 2012, he put a Jerome Thiesson cross in the net, but video review deemed Ibarra offside in the 26th minute.
With a cross from Marc Burch in the 43rd, Ibarra's header was stopped on a strong save by Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson. In the 74th, Fanendo Adi redirected Cristhian Paredes' attempt to make it 3-1. Quintero's header in the 88th minute went just high, and the comeback was staved off.