MLS Review: Timbers, Crew claim first-leg wins


The Portland Timbers took a huge step towards the MLS Cup with a 3-1 win over Dallas in the first leg of their Western Conference Final.

Goals from Liam Ridgewell, Dairon Asprilla and Nat Borchers helped Caleb Porter's men to their home win at Providence Park.

David Texeira had pulled a goal back for the visitors just past the hour-mark to reduce the deficit to one goal, but they conceded late on.

It leaves Dallas with work to do in the second leg on November 29 as the Timbers closed in on their first appearance in the MLS Cup decider.

Ridgewell opened the scoring midway through the first half for Portland, scrambling in a corner to make it 1-0.

Asprilla doubled the lead in style in the 53rd minute.

The Colombian collected a loose ball 25 yards from goal, beat his marker with a touch to his right before scoring with a brilliant curling effort.

Dallas got on the scoresheet through Texeira, who side-footed in a key away goal after a Je-Vaughn Watson cutback.

But Borchers would ensure a two-goal Timbers win as he scrambled in from close range after another corner.

Earlier, the Columbus Crew recorded a 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference Final.

The hosts scored straight from kick-off as Justin Meram volleyed in after just nine seconds for the fastest goal in MLS play-off history.

Kei Kamara scored the Crew's second in the 85th minute after nice work from substitute Cedrick Mabwati.