20210105 edgar guerrero emls
Craig Mitchelldyer-Portland Timbers

Guerrero collects four points on night one of eMLS Series One qualifying

Night one of eMLS 2021 Series One qualify ended with the Portland Timbers' Edgar Guerrero (RCTID Thiago) 1-2-1 after four matches, sitting in 20th place in the 27-player league with 10 qualifying matches to go.

What happened

Guerrero opened his 2021 season with a draw to St. Louis City FC before a late goal by the Philadelphia Union sent him to defeat in match two. A stoppage-time tally against Chicago Fire FC in the night's third game got the Timbers and Guerrero into the win column before a decisive win by Nashville SC to close the first night of the 2021 season.

What it all means

With 10 matches to go before the knockout round, a 1-2-1 start isn't a major setback, and in losing to DOOLSTA in the evening's final game, Guerrero fell to a former eMLS champion who went 3-0-1 on the night. Though Wednesday night's schedule could prove just as challenging, Thiago's previous pattern of building into his seasons was already playing out before match four, hinting at possible progress tomorrow.

How it happened

Thiago's team - Guerrero relied on a Portuguese trio in the heart of his formation, with a Eusebio icon card starting at striker ahead of Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo in midfield. PSG's Neymar and Portland's Yimmi Chará flanked Eusebio up top, Patrick Vieira rounded out the midfield, with a backline of Nick Lima, Ike Opara, Aaron Long and Juan Cuadrado shielded an icon Edwin van der Sar.

GAME 1 — Portland 2, St. Louis City FC (STL CITY SC HASIB) 2 — Despite conceding early to the eMLS debutants, Guerrero came back ...

... to claim a 2-1 league in the 64th minute after goals from Neymar and Ronaldo.

A late equalizer from St. Louis, though, left Guerrero with a single point going into match two against Philadelphia.

GAME 2 — Portland 1, Philadelphia Union (cisseSZN) 2 — A strong performance from Philadelphia's new eMLS signing looked set to go unrewarded when, thanks for a 33rd minute goal from Portland ...

... the match reached the final minutes tied at one. But with an 86th-minute winner, cisseSZN had the second win of his three-win night, sending Portland to 0-1-1 through two rounds.

GAME 3 — Portland 1, Chicago Fire FC (KidM3mito) 0 - After match-two heartbreak, turnabout went Thiago's way, leaving KidM3mito to lament his luck. That's because a stoppage-time finish from Ronaldo with the game's final touch ...

... proved the match's only score, sending Portland to 1-1-1 after a dramatic 1-0 victory over the Fire.

GAME 4 — Portland 0, Nashville SC (DOOLSTA) 4 — If match three was good fortune, match four even the scales, with two penalty calls going Nashville's way dooming Thiago to a lopsided result. Beyond those conversions, a deep giveaway from Opara and a late finish from Nashville's Son Heung-min completed DOOLSTA's undefeated night, keeping Thiago and Portland four points back of that coveted eighth-place spot.

What's next

Night two of Series One qualifying will see Thiago matched up against the Colorado Rapids (Gonzo), Inter Miami (IMCF_Pabs), DC United (KingCJ0) and Los Angeles FC (RemiMartinn). Matches begin at 5:30 PM PT and kickoff 30 minutes apart, with games nine through 14 of the qualifying round taking place next week. The top eight players at the end of next Wednesday's matches will qualify for Series One, with the knockout rounds scheduled to begin on Saturday, January 16.

Current standings

# Player Club PTS GP W - D - L GF - GA GD
1 xbLeU ATX 12 4 4 - 0 - 0 11 - 1 10
2 Didychrislito NYC 9 4 3 - 0 - 1 15 - 6 9
3 cisseSZN PHI 9 4 3 - 0 - 1 11 - 4 7
4 GODFATHER LA 9 4 3 - 0 - 1 10 - 3 7
5 KingCJ0 DC 9 4 3 - 0 - 1 12 - 6 6
6 DOOLSTA NSH 9 4 3 - 0 - 1 9 - 7 2
7 RemiMartinn LAFC 8 4 2 - 2 - 0 10 - 4 6
8 Adamou RBNY 8 4 2 - 2 - 0 11 - 7 4
9 Kid M3mito CHI 7 4 2 - 1 - 1 8 - 5 3
10 IMCF_Pabs MIA 7 4 2 - 1 - 1 8 - 5 3
11 ALEKZANDUR SKC 6 3 2 - 0 - 1 8 - 6 2
12 AlanAvi DAL 6 4 1 - 3 - 0 9 - 7 2
13 HASIB STL 5 4 1 - 2 - 1 10 - 4 0
14 ADRIAN SEA 4 3 1 - 1 - 1 8 - 6 2
15 PhilB94 TOR 4 3 1 - 1 - 1 5 - 3 2
16 Fiddle CIN 4 4 1 - 1 - 2 9 - 7 2
17 JKO NE 4 4 1 - 1 - 2 6 - 6 0
18 Maloney ORL 4 4 1 - 1 - 2 10 - 11 -1
19 mehdibob3 MTL 4 4 1 - 1 - 2 10 - 11 -1
20 RCTID Thiago POR 4 4 1 - 1 - 2 4 - 8 -4
21 JordyReyes HOU 3 4 1 - 0 - 3 10 - 9 1
22 Gonzo COL 3 4 1 - 0 - 3 4 - 11 -7
23 BENR SJ 3 4 1 - 0 - 3 8 - 21 -13
24 tokyorift MIN 3 4 0 - 3 - 1 5 - 7 -2
25 Skill Shack VAN 1 3 0 - 1 - 2 4 - 10 -6
26 ENZO ATL 0 4 0 - 0 - 4 2 - 18 -16
27 Crew96Skamzz CLB 0 4 0 - 0 - 4 2 - 20 -18

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