The Timbers' Major League Soccer era started at Colorado a little less than three months ago, and since then, much has changed.

The tentative Portland side that dropped its first two MLS games on the road has seen its share of ups and downs, but the Timbers have steadily gained confidence and cohesion as the season's passed its one-third point.

But Portland's coming off two straight losses, and with a tough slate of matches coming up, the Timbers certainly don't want to drop their second straight at home. Colorado, meanwhile, has tied six straight matches and would like nothing more than to end that streak with its second win over Portland this season.

Watch this one on ROOT Sports, listen on 750 AM or 101.1 FM and follow along after the jump as I deftly describe the action on and off the field. That's right. Deftly.

Pregame—They're watering the field on a picture-perfect Saturday night at Jeld-Wen Field. I've learned watering evens out the playing surface and gets the plastic pellets nestled into all the pitch's nooks and crannies.

For the record, I haven't seen many sailors in the stands or around the concourse. Could nobody hook these guys up with some tickets?

Lots of Timbers Army sporting the red jerseys, which look sharp under the rare Portland sunshine. Timbers shooting toward the north goal and Perkins defending the south side. I believe that's the first time this season Timbers Army has been in the opposing keeper's ear in the first half this year.

Your Starting XIs:
Portland—Troy Perkins on goal. Jorge Perlaza and Kenny Cooper up front. Kalif Alhassan, Diego Chará, Jack Jewsbury and Darlington Nagbe at midfield. Rodney Wallace, Futty Danso, Eric Brunner and Jeremy Hall on defense. Jewsbury is the captain and Timbers are sporting their Rose City Red kits in honor of Portland's annual Rose Festival.
Colorado—Matt Pickens in goal. Caleb Folan and Conor Casey up front. Wells Thompson, Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Smith and Pablo Mastreoni at midfield. Scott Palguta, Drew Moor, Tyrone Marshall and Kosuke Kimura on defense. Mastroeni is the captain and the Rapids are sporting their burgundy shorts and white blouses.

And we're underway ...

1st minute—Casey crosses one in and Hall wisely clears it over the goal line. Ensuing corner finds Folan, but his header goes high.

3rd minute—Perlaza brought down deep in the Rapids' end and he's slow to get up. A foul is called and Jewsbury will essentially have a short corner kick. Head official Abiodun Okulaja tags the pitch with the thickest free-kick line I've seen this year. Corner goes through the box and earns Portland a real corner kick. It's played in and knocked out to Nagbe, who blasts it right into a Colorado defender.

7th minute—Chará crosses one into Perlaza, and it makes its way back to Nagbe, who heads it toward the net.

8th minute—Nagbe fires a shot from a tough angle that's picked by Pickens. The rookie is very active early here.

9th minute—We've made it this far and Colorado hasn't scored. A small victory for Portland already.

10th minute—Cooper goes aggressively after a midfield jump-ball and somehow gets it to Perlaza. He makes a fairly long run and gets a shot off from just outside the penalty area, but it's high. Timbers are getting decent chances early and are playing with more aggression than Colorado.

12th minute—Perkins is tested when Larentowicz fires a rocket from distance, but the keeper who kept Portland from getting embarrassed last week at Chivas knocks it away. Leads to a couple of corners for Colorado, the second of which is dangerously headed by Marshall. That one goes just wide. Cooper slow to get up and runs right toward the trainer. He's bleeding from above his right eye. Timbers down a man.

14th minute—Chará and Perlaza working the two-man game. The Colombian Connection is due. It seems like only a matter of time before they do something espectacular.

15th minute—Cooper re-enters with a bandage wrapped around his head. He sort of looks like Darkman, and Timbers fans approve, giving the embattled forward a big ovation as he sprinted back onto the field. Meanwhile, Portland's showing some nice possession in the Rapids' end (particularly in the northwest corner) and really controlling things here early.

19th minute—Smith makes a nice run but doesn't flop well enough to earn a whistle as Chará tackles him from behind. A good no-call. Action continues and Smith gets a shot off that sends Perkins flying, but the ensuing corner is cleared.

20th minute—Nothing came of it, but Nagbe finds Perlaza in space (Perlaza has to hold up to stay onside). Good awareness from the rookie. He's looking very comfortable out there.

21st minute—An ambulance is backing down the loading ramp on the south end of the field. Are they bringing it in to stitch up Cooper? That might need to wait until half.

24th minute—Hall with a very nifty fake pass that reminds me of a BMX "stoppie." It leads to a flicked cross toward Cooper, but that's a bit too high even for the big Texan.

27th minute—Some sloppy defending in front of the net gives Colorado its best chance of the night. Futty fails to clear one after a Rapids cross goes awry (that's no way to make the All-Star team!), and it leads to a booming shot from Casey. It goes wide, and Portland dodges one.

29th minute—Alhassan nearly nets one with a Mickelson-quality chip just over the cross bar. Pickens had his back to Kalif and had little chance at that one.

30th minute—Futty takes a hit from Folan after a couple of Rapids shots remove Perkins from his comfort zone. Futty favoring his left shoulder and there's six trainers around him as they load the big Gambian the stretcher. Horst stepping off the bench to take his place. Crowd chanting Futty's name and he definitely looks like he's in some pain.

33rd minute—Horst in for Futty. Timbers get another cross and Perlaza gets a piece of it and it floats toward Cooper. He winds up for a big volley but whiffs on it. That's a tad embarrassing for the big man. Would've been a tough angle.

35th minute—Perlaza gets behind the Colorado defense and makes a breakaway run, but pulls the trigger a bit early from 15 yards out and his shot goes wide. Best chance of the night for Portland and maybe the most squandered chance of the season for Perlaza.

36th minute—Thompson cross perfectly played to Folan, who heads it toward the Portland goal. Perkins makes a huge diving save and the Timbers clear. Folan is beside himself, but there's not much else he could've done. Perkins was all over it.

38th minute—Another great chance for Portland and nearly Nagbe's first MLS goal. Perlaza plays a great cross into Nagbe, who has a point-blank shot on goal but it sails on him. Nagbe almost looked surprised that Perlaza converted the pass across his body and couldn't finish. That's one he'll be waking up in a cold sweat over tonight.

40th minute—A long shot from distance has little chance of scoring, but Perkins forgets where he is a bit and ends up bumping his head on the goal post. Ouch. He takes a knee for a second and gathers himself, but it appears he's OK. A bit embarrassed, perhaps, but OK.

42nd minute—Two corners for Portland that don't lead to anything, but certainly Capt. Jack's delivery is getting sharper with each swing of his leg.

43rd minute—Smith dances through the Portland defense after Horst can't clear and Wallace makes a nice steal. A long free kick by Marshall sails toward Casey in front, but Perkins punches it out.

45th minute—Nagbe makes a nice run (because they're giving him a lot of space/respect) and Hall tries to cross one in. He thinks a handball should've been called, and while he argues, Chará crosses one in for Cooper, who goes high for a header but can't quite get to it. Two minutes of injury time.

Stoppage—Another long ball Perkins has to come out for and take away from Casey. It's happened a few times tonight and certainly looks like something Colorado is trying to catch Portland asleep on. On the other end, Wallace blasts one from just outside the box, but it goes just high.

HALFTIME—An action-packed first 45, but we're scoreless, 0-0. Portland was undoubtedly the aggressor and showed Colorado the Timbers are not the same team that nervously plodded its way through the opener. Some legit chances for both sides, though more overall for Portland. Cooper and Perlaza are very active and seemed determined to get the Timbers' first run-of-play goal since beating Dallas on April 17. Nagbe has also been impressive working in space and showing some great ball control. If he's hit the "rookie wall," he's not showing it in the first half.

Some stats: Both teams had nine shots in the first half, with Colorado winning the shots-on-goal category 4-2. Portland out-fouled the Rapids 6-3 and the Rapids had five corners to Portland's four. Colorado didn't get a shot off in the final eight minutes of the first, while Portland had three.

And we're back at it... Timbers moving toward the north end.

46th minute—Cooper hustles to get to win deep in Colorado's end. Nothing comes of it, but it's good to see Cooper continuing to get after it.

47th minute—Perlaza makes a nice run down the east side and earns a corner. It's played into Cooper, who gets a head on it but sends it wide right. A good chance there Cooper would definitely like again.

49th minute—Some nice one-touch passes out of Portland and things continue to go as they did in the first half: Portland pressing and Colorado on its heels. Keep in mind the Rapids absolutely dominated the Timbers in the opener. Not so tonight.

50th minute—Hall picks up a yellow (the first of the night for either side) on a hey-let's-not-start-this-already call from the referee. There have been harder fouls all night, but things were already getting chippy in the early moments of the second half.

53rd minute—Nagbe taken down in front of the east grandstand and it brings a yellow for Thompson. Love that the fans in the new, ritzier side of the stadium were immediately on their feet screaming at the refs.

54th minute—An update on Futty. He has a left shoulder injury and has been transported to Providence St. Vincent Hospital for further examination. I'm no doctor (and diagnoses are tough to make from the press box) but odds are it's a separation, which is a really rough injury for a defender who's constantly using his strength to clear out space.

57th minute—Cooper smokes one on a volley from Perlaza that's tipped just wide by Pickens. A great shot-on-goal for Cooper and an even better save for the Rapids' keeper.

59th minute—Wallace crosses in and it's cleared to give Portland a corner. Colorado clears but it finds its way back in front and Chará unloads one just wide right.

60th minute—A dangerous chance for Folan as he works his way into the Portland penalty area, but his pocket is completely picked by Brunner. What a defensive stop there right in front of Timbers Army. And they naturally love it.

62nd minute—Cooper springs Perlaza, who makes a nice run up the middle, but he gets a bit ahead of himself and can't get a shot. Looks like he might have booted it off a Rapids defender, but Colorado's awarded a goal kick.

63rd minute—Free kick from 35 yards sails on Colorado, but two of the three Timbers on the drawn line come off their mark when things go in motion. Perkins doesn't appreciate this and comes out screaming at his defenders.

66th minute—Wallace fires a left-footed blast from 30 yards out after Nagbe calmly gets it to him on the run. A nice idea.

67th minute—Chará and Marshall get into it a little bit as the teams come together for a mosh session. It earns Chará a yellow card, but teammates and fans probably appreciate the fire in the little guy, stepping up to someone six inches taller than him. I guarantee you Spencer does.

70th minute—Handball called and Jewsbury lines up a free kick from 30 yards out. It's knocked away by Casey. Hall gathers it and gets it to Alhassan, who fancily makes his way into the box and earns Portland a corner.

72nd minute—Corner defended well and Horst is called for a handball in the box. The pace of this match didn't slow at halftime. Action from end to end here and plenty of shots for both sides.

74th minute—Perlaza gets Pickens off his line, but Colorado gets back and forces him to a non-existent angle. Perlaza gets it into Cooper, but he can't gather it squarely and the Rapids clear. A cardiac moment for Colorado, and a big missed opportunity for Portland.

75th minute—Quincy Amarikwa in for Casey. The latter leaves to boos in the town he went to college in. A sign of respect, no doubt.

77th minute—Wallace goes down and rolls three full rotations to drive the point home. The agony showcase works, as Larentowicz picks up a yellow. Sal Zizzo enters for Nagbe, who played calmly and comfortably tonight. It's only a matter of time before he has a breakout performance.

79th minute—Announced attendance of 18,627. Yup, another sellout.

81st minute—Biggest 10 minutes of the season right here? New daddy Ryan Pore enters for Perlaza. A dangerous free-kick situation coming here for Colorado. It's faked and Larentowicz tries to sneak a shot in, but Portland's defense is all over it.

84th minute—Zizzo calls for a cross-field pass and gets it, but he tries to cross instead of shooting inside the box and it's cleared out. Throw-in eventually gets to Alhassan, who fires one left-footed but high and wide.

86th minute—Zizzo again calls for it and again crosses one in. Zizzo finds Pore, but he can't finish a point-blank header. Yeesh. Wide open chance there that should've been put home. How do I know it should've been put home? Chará threw his hands up as if to say, "Dude, you should've put that shit home." Still scoreless and Pore will have lots to think about while he's up taking care of his newborn later tonight.

88th minute—Corner earned by Colorado as Hall takes no chances. Take one is called back by the ref and take two is way over the pack. Perkins with a line-drive goal kick and Pore picks up a foul. Rough minutes for Pore here. Lack of sleep, perhaps?

90 minutesThree minutes of stoppage time.

Stoppage—Spencer is booted. Oh boy.

COLORADO GOAL Free kick is sent in and Perkins makes two ridiculous saves. But Moor buries it into the back of the net from right in front and that should do it. That's a tough one for Portland to swallow. Rapids had three shots from point-blank and cash the third one in. 1-0 Rapids.

Oh boy, Pore is going to be sick. Jewsbury centers one to Pore, and he has ANOTHER point-blank shot right in front. But it again sails on him and the whistle blows. Ouch.

FULL TIME—Colorado wins, 1-0. Timbers dominate the match, but the Rapids finish stronger and snap their six-match draw streak with a victory. Portland's lost three straight, and there's no doubt this is going to be an interesting press conference after Spencer got booted. Back in a few...

Back from the locker room, and Spencer pretty much unloaded on the refs and MLS officiating in general, questioning the head referee's fitness level. My favorite part was when he called the fourth official (who sent him off) a "nobody trying to be a somebody." Pretty sure somebody from the commissioner's office will be contacting the Timbers coach shortly. Over/under on the fines is here in the press box is $5,000—I'll take the over.

A Futty update: He has what team officials are calling a "minor left shoulder injury" and will be out 2-3 weeks.