Timbers start fast, cruise to 4-1 victory over Rapids in opener

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Eryk Williamson scored nine minutes into the match, Antony Alves Santos added two goals before halftime and the Portland Timbers rolled to a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids in a season opener on Saturday night.

Phil Neville earned the victory in his first match as manager of the Timbers. Neville was let go by Inter Miami last season — six weeks before Lionel Messi's arrival.

Santos had goals in the 14th and 29th minutes. Portland also capitalized on an own goal to go into halftime with a 4-0 lead.

The Rapids' Calvin Harris had the lone goal of the second half, finding the net in the 55th minute.

James Pantemis saved two shots in his debut for the Timbers. Pantemis spent the previous six campaigns with CF Montreal.

Zack Steffen was roughed up in his first start for Colorado. He did not have a save in his return to the league after playing for the Columbus Crew from 2016-19.

Chris Armas watched his team struggle in his first match as the manager of the Rapids. Armas fielded young, press-heavy teams during his tenure with the New York Red Bulls, helping the club win the 2018 Supporters' Shield. Armas was an assistant for Premier League members Manchester United and Leeds United prior to taking the Colorado job. The Rapids finished in the basement of the Western Conference last season, going 5-17-12 for 27 points.

The Rapids return home to take on Nashville SC in their home opener on Saturday. The Timbers will host D.C. United on Saturday.

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The Associated Press