Diego Valeri, Timbers vs. NYRB, 3.3.13, PTX
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

#TimbersX | 10x10 looks back at Timbers season openers in MLS

Editor's Note: As part of the Portland Timbers celebration of their 10th season in MLS, Timbers.com will be doing unique content throughout the year that looks back at some of the more memorable moments of the team's history. 

Mike Donovan, resident "StatMan" has be doing a monthly series that highlights some of the more curious numbers, stats and moments of the #TimbersX years. As the Timbers' 2020 MLS season and home opener approaches on March 1 versus Minnesota United FC (4:30pm PT, FS1, TICKETS), Statman takes a look back at 10 stats around Portland's season and home openers during their first 10 seasons in MLS.

2 Sebastián Blanco has scored in consecutive season openers, with goals at Colorado and the LA Galaxy, respectively. Blanco is one of the three players (Fanendo Adi and Diego Valeri) to have scored in consecutive season openers. Blanco will have a chance to become the first Timbers player ever to score in three consecutive season openers when the Timbers kick off their season on March 1 against Minnesota. 

2.56 In the club's home openers since joining MLS, Portland has average 2.56 goals a game. In all other home games in their MLS era, the club averages 1.73 goals per match at Providence Park. In their nine MLS home openers, Portland has scored 23 goals. 

3 The 2020 season opener game will be the third time the Timbers will have played Minnesota United in a home opener, which is the most of any single MLS opponent. In all eras of the club, the only team the Timbers have played more in home openers is the Seattle Sounders. 

3X2 Three different Timbers players have notched braces in MLS home openers for the club. Jorge Perlaza accomplished the feat in 2011 while Adi and Valeri both scored two goals in the club's 5-1 victory over Minnesota United in 2017.  

5 No player has scored more goals in Timbers season openers than Valeri. The Timbers all-time leading goalscorer has scored five goals in season openers. Valeri scored in the 2013 season opener (pictured above), which was also his Portland debut, while adding goals in 2016, 2017 (2), and 2019. 

7 Midfielder Diego Chara has started more games than any Timbers player in the club's all-era history so it is no surprise that he also started in the most home openers of any player. Chara has started seven home openers, only having missed the 2011 and 2015 season openers. 

16 In 2014, Gastón Fernández made his Timbers debut a memorable one when he scored in the 94th minute to give Portland a 1-1 draw against the Philadelphia Union. The draw extended Portland's home regular season unbeaten streak to 16 matches with Fernandez becoming the fourth Timbers player to score in his debut for the club in a home opener. 

18 No match in MLS history was played in colder conditions than the 2019 season opener for the Timbers when they played at Dick's Sporting Goods Park against the Colorado Rapids. The official temperature for the match was 18 degrees and was played in a snowstorm. With a special orange match ball in use, the teams played to a 3-3 draw. 

29 In the 29th minute of their 2011 home opener, Perlaza scored the first goal at home in the club's MLS era. The Colombian forward received a pass from Kalif Alhassan and did the rest of the work, beating Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson to give the Timbers a 1-0 lead. Portland went onto win the match 4-2 for its first MLS win ever. 

90+ At the beginning of the 2017 season, the Timbers secured a 5-1 victory over Minnesota at Providence Park. In that match, Adi became the first player in MLS history to score twice in stoppage time when he bagged goals in the 91st and 93rd minutes. Adi's goals cemented the four-goal victory. 

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