USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Dairon Asprilla’s first key contribution to the Portland Timbers’ run in the 2015 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs helped keep the club’s season alive. His assist on Max Urruti’s goal in the 118th minute against Sporting Kansas City sent the game to a penalty shootout the Timbers would claim in 11 rounds.
Since then, the 23-year-old Colombian has been a fixture in the starting lineup for Caleb Porter’s side. After a goal and assist against FC Dallas in the first leg of the Western Conference Final last Sunday, his comfort in his new surroundings are becoming apparent.
“He’s settling in. He’s figuring it out,” Porter said of Asprilla to MLSSoccer.com’s Dan Itel. “The more a player settles in the more he figures it out. He understands his role, understands his teammates, his coach and starts to trust everybody. I think you are seeing that in Asprilla.”
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It’s been a process for Asprilla, who made a pair of starts in the USL for the Timbers 2 this season as he acclimated. Asprilla recorded one assist in those outings, and has become a strong threat for the Timbers down the right side in the postseason. His spectacular goal last Sunday epitomized the confidence he is now feeling.
“I scored a beautiful goal, something that I was waiting for a while, and I thank the coaching staff for that gave me the opportunity,” Asprilla said in comments translated by MLSsoccer.com. “For that I try to repay them. It’s a beautiful moment to score because we’re in the [conference] finals.”With a 3-1 lead entering Sunday’s second leg in Dallas, Asprilla and the Timbers are hoping another big performance will lead the club to its first berth in the MLS Cup Final.