- Associated Press - Saturday, September 20, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Advantage, Timbers.

Fanendo Adi scored twice, Diego Valeri added a goal and an assist, and Donovan Ricketts had his fourth shutout in Portland’s 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.

The Timbers (9-8-12) moved two points ahead of Vancouver (8-9-13) for the fifth and final playoff position in the Western Conference. Both teams have five games left.

“The team that won this game would be in the driver’s seat. So we control our fate,” Portland coach Caleb Porter said. “If we take care of business in the next five, we’re going to be in the playoffs. But we’ve got some work to do still.”

Said Vancouver coach Carl Robinson: “There’s 15 points to play for there. We’re chasing them now. So the ball’s in their court.”



Valeri opened the scoring in the 28th minute. Jorge Villafana received a pass on the left wing off a quick restart and sent a pinpoint cross to the penalty spot, where Valeri volleyed his shot past goalkeeper David Ousted for his ninth goal of the season.

“I don’t know if there’s anything more I can say about him,” Porter sad about Valeri. “In my opinion, he’s one of the best players in the league, if not the best player.”

Robinson was equally complimentary.

“He had a big impact on the game,” Robinson said. “You need your players to have big impacts on games in certain areas, and today probably, he was key to them winning the game.”

Adi scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season in the second half. The first came in the 66th minute, after Valeri’s steal and pass sent Adi in one-on-one on Ousted. Adi struck again four minutes later from inside the penalty area off Darlington Nagbe’s assist.

“He was a beast. And he’s going against two of the strongest guys in the league, in O’Brien and Waston,” Porter said about Adi. “Those guys are a tough matchup, but I thought, at times, he manhandled them.”

The crowd of 20,814 gave Portland its 66th consecutive sellout since joining MLS in 2011.

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