PORTLAND, Ore. — For his first Major League Soccer goal, Cyle Larin improvised. With his chest.
Orlando City’s rookie striker from Brampton, Ont., bounced a shot into the goal in the 30th minute and the expansion Lions went on to beat the Portland Timbers 2-0 on Sunday.
“It’s just instinct,” Larin said. “You got to be able to finish with any part of your body.”
Kaka added a goal on a penalty kick and former Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts got his second shutout of the season to help Orlando City improve to 2-2-2. The Lions are undefeated in their three road games.
The loss snapped a seven-game unbeaten streak at home for the Timbers (1-2-3), dating to last season.
Larin, the first overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft, got a good shot in the 23rd minute that Portland goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey dove for but couldn’t reach — and it sailed just outside the post.
The Canadian striker, who played at Connecticut, then scored when he deflected a cross from Kevin Molino into the goal with his chest.
“Great for him. And, by the way, people will go, ‘Oh, it has come off his chest.’ It was fantastic, because if he tries to control that and shoot, there’s no way he does it in that tight an area. So, it was really good improvisation on his part,” Orlando City coach Adrian Heath said.
Kaka’s penalty kick came in the 85th minute. Kwarasey saved the Brazilian star’s first attempt, but he got another try after a Portland’s Diego Chara was called for encroachment. The call drew the ire of the Timbers’ home crowd.
Coach Caleb Porter said the Timbers were simply outplayed — especially in the first half — and he took responsibility.
“Performances like this happen. Players have off days. Teams have off days,” Porter said. “But I didn’t see it coming.”
Orlando City was playing without Brazilian midfielder Pedro Ribeiro, who tore his hamstring in last weekend’s 1-0 loss at home to D.C. United. He could miss from two to three months because of the injury.
Ricketts, who played more than two seasons with the Timbers, was left unprotected and the Lions snatched him up with the first pick in the expansion draft in December.
“On the road, three points is always really valuable, and I thought that, certainly first half, we were well worthy of the score line. Rode our luck a little bit in the second half,” Heath said. “But I think, overall, I’m a firm believer you get out of football what you put in. These guys have put so much in over the last few weeks, with not a lot of reward.”
After Larin’s goal, Darlington Nagbe had an opportunity to even the match in the 37th minute but his free kick sailed just over the bar. Nagbe had several other good chances in the second half but he couldn’t manage to find the back of the net.
“I just think we were shocked,” Portland defender Jack Jewsbury said. “We had good training this week and we thought that it would carry over.”
The Timbers got their first win of the season last weekend, a 3-1 victory at home over FC Dallas.
Portland is still without last season’s top scorer, midfielder Diego Valeri, who has returned to limited workouts with the team after tearing his ACL in last season’s final match.
Portland captain Will Johnson continues to rehab from a broken right leg he sustained late last season.
Anne M Peterson, The Associated Press