KeyBank Match-up: Ryan Johnson vs. Clint Irwin
|Shots in 2013: 6||Saves in 2013: 9|
|Goals in 2013: 1||Goals Conceeded in 2013: 2|
|Once played for Boulder's Rapids U-23s team in PDL||Once played for Charlotte Eagles of the USL|
|3 of Johnson's 7 goals from 2012 were the first goal of the game||Has only one career MLS start|
As the Portland Timbers journey to Denver, they face a Colorado Rapids team that has been decimated by injuries. Defender Diego Calderon is out 4-5 months after microfracture surgery on his right knee, new forward Edson Buddle has been out but nears return, and starting goalkeeper Matt Pickens broke his arm. Suddenly, young Clint Irwin has been handed the starting role between the pipes and while he stood tall in his Rocky Mountain Cup debut against RSL, he is an unknown quantity.
The Timbers have yet to have a lead in 2013 and forward Ryan Johnson will be looking to change that. Speedy with good pace, fans caught a glimpse of his abililty to take over a game when he scored a hat trick in preseason against San Jose. Now with the regular season off and running, the Timbers will look to jump on the in flux Rapids early and get the first goal. Ryan Johnson's budding chemistry with fellow attacker Diego Valeri will be essential to setting the stage for Portland.
They said it:
"I believe if we get the first goal, we'll get the win. Definitely, we'll be pushing for the first goal. That's one thing I've been thinking about all the previous matches is try to get the first goal. We haven't as yet but we definitely will."
-Ryan Johnson, Timbers forward