MLS: Expansion St. Louis City edge Portland, improve to 3-0
Kyle Hiebert scored on an opportunistic header in the 75th minute and expansion team St. Louis City SC rallied to 2-1 victory at the Portland Timbers on Saturday night.
Hiebert’s first career MLS goal ensured a victory that means St. Louis (3-0-0, 9 points) will have the opportunity to become the first expansion team in MLS history to win its first four matches when it hosts the San Jose Earthquakes next weekend.
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All three St. Louis victories have come after trailing in the match, and two have come on the road.
Jared Stroud also scored his second goal for the first-year club to level the match shortly before halftime as his team matched the start of the 2009 Seattle Sounders in their first MLS season.
That Sounders team went on to make the MLS Cup playoffs and win the 2009 U.S. Open Cup as an example of what St. Louis could potentially achieve.
Defender Zac McGraw scored his second career MLS goal on a corner kick header to give the Timbers (1-2-0, 3 points) an early lead.
But the night got worse quickly for the home side when midfielder Cristhian Paredes departed after 12 minutes, lengthening the club’s already hefty injured list.
The Timbers perhaps had the better of the second-half chances, the best falling to Santiago Moreno five minutes before Hiebert put the visitors in front.
But before Hiebert scored the goal, he was able to block Moreno’s first attempt from in front of goal in the penalty area. Roman Burki saved the second attempt from close range.
Five minutes later, the former Missouri State center back who signed his first pro contract with St. Louis City’s MLS NEXT reserve team last year came through on a set piece.
Eduard Lowen served a ball from the right in the direction of Hiebert’s center back partner Tim Parker and striker Joao Klauss.
Neither made contact with the ball, but Hiebert was there to clean up the play on the back post and sent his header back across goal, wrongfooting goalkeeper David Bingham and seeing it nestle inside the right post.
–Field Level Media
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