COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Omar Cummings scored a goal and helped set up a second as the Colorado Rapids began their MLS Cup title defense with a 3-1 victory over the expansion Portland Timbers on Saturday night.
Cummings became the first player in MLS history to score a goal in four consecutive season openers.
Jeff Larentowicz and Jamie Smith also scored for Colorado (1-0-0).
Kenny Cooper scored the first goal for Portland (0-1-0) in the 80th minute of its inaugural match.
The goal came on a free kick and denied Matt Pickens of his 26th career shutout.
Portland goalkeeper Adin Brown allowed three goals in the first half.
The festive crowd roared its approval with each goal and waved commemorative championship banners throughout the match.
The Rapids put the match away in the first half, getting quality chances against Brown and almost got a ball past him three minutes into the match.
The match got chippy in the second half. Pablo Mastroeni drew a yellow card for a hit that briefly sent Portland’s Adam Moffat to the sideline. Brunner sent Quincy Amarikwa to the turf with a forearm to the back.
Cooper’s shot from the slot on a free kick from the scoring area eluded Pickens’ dive in the 80th minute.