Urruti paves the way for Timbers
HARRISON, N.J. — Maximiliano Urruti scored in each half to rally Portland to a 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night, extending the Timbers' unbeaten streak to five with only their second win of the season.
Urruti tied it just before halftime and added the winner in the 74th to help Portland improve to 2-3-7 and move out of last place in Major League Soccer's Western Conference.
The Red Bulls (3-5-5) have lost three straight and two in a row at home.
The win was the first for Portland in five meetings between the clubs. The Timbers' only other victory this season came May 3 at home, 3-2 over D.C. United.
After Bradley Wright-Phillips put New York ahead in the 36th, Urruti scored his fourth and fifth goals to lead Portland.
"If you've seen us play this season, we wait until we get punched before we react," Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts said. "It was a nice response from the team."
With less than a minute remaining in the first half, Steve Zakuani sent a simple pass to Urruti just outside the penalty area. The Argentine, who joined Portland in September, had time and space to turn and hit a shot that deflected off of New York defender Armando's shoulder and skip past keeper Luis Robles.
"The first goal was key because we were kind of spread out throughout the pitch," Urruti said through a translator. "It kind of brought us back together again. It was good. We had to go into the locker room and come out more aggressive in the second half."
Urruti added the winner when Jorge Villafana's cross through the 6-yard box deflected off Armando and bounced to the far corner of the goal area. Urruti ran in and drove the free ball into the far side netting.
"I've been getting used to the league. Getting more minutes has been key," Urruti said. "Getting more playing time being on the pitch, that's been molding me into the player that I've become and molding me to the league itself."
The Red Bulls started quickly, getting an Eric Alexander header from the edge of the six that went just high in the third minute.
Wright-Phillips hit the inside of the right post from the middle of the penalty area six minutes later but the ball caromed back into the area. Wright-Phillips had a second chance seconds later when he put in a rebound of teammate Lloyd Sam's shot, but he was offside.
"I've been in this league long enough, and I've been through a hell of a lot longer and worse spells than we're in right now," Red Bulls coach Mike Petke said. "Part of it's mental. We did enough to win this game. It just didn't fall."
Wright-Phillips put New York ahead in the 36th converting a penalty kick after Pa Mouda Kah was called for bringing down Lloyd Sam.
Sam took a pass from Thierry Henry on the edge of the six and, with Kah on his back, the two jostled. Kah fell backward, pulling Sam on top of him.
It was Wright-Phillips 10th of the season, giving him a share of the league lead with Kansas City's Dom Dwyer.