The Rapids converted two penalty kicks to knock off Portland on Saturday. (Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports)
Neither of the Portland Timbers' goalkeepers had good timing on through balls Saturday. First, Donovan Ricketts was sent off after a poor challenge, and Andrew Weber gave away a penalty just a minute later. The Colorado Rapids converted on both chances to win 2-0.
Ricketts' mistake in the second half cost his team the game, but Deshorn Brown gave him trouble all night, taking two straightforward shots in the first five minutes that he couldn't hold. It was Brown once again on the other end in the 68th minute, running onto a bouncing through ball from Dillon Powers. Instead of carrying his momentum through the ball and scooping it up with his hands, Ricketts lunged in with his feet.
Anytime a goalkeeper contests a ball feet first, it's incorrect technique at best and dangerous to the opponent at worst. Brown was lucky to escape serious injury, as both sets of Ricketts' studs were aimed firmly at his midsection. Mark Geiger made the correct call, showing the lanky Jamaican a red card as he was taken off the field on a stretcher.
Watch the entire play here:
Vicente Sánchez calmly lifted the penalty over substitute Weber, giving the Rapids a 1-0 lead. One minute later, Weber also gave away a penalty, tackling Sánchez as he headed away from goal on the right side of the penalty area. The play was similar, although Powers slid his pass on the ground this time, and Weber went in with his hands and just mistimed his challenge.
Watch Weber clip Sánchez here:
Weber received a yellow card for his actions on the play. He also saved Brown's initial penalty attempt, although Brown reacted quickly to put back his own rebound.
The Rapids' José Mari picked up his second yellow card of the game in stoppage time to even the teams at 10 men apiece, but it was too late for Portland to put together a comeback. The defending Western Conference champions have just two points out of the first three matches this year.