US based Kenyan international Lawrence Olum will not be celebrating a second Major League Soccer (MLS) title any time soon, after his team, Portland Timbers was eliminated from the offseason playoffs on Monday 6 November by Houston Dynamo.
Olum, who won the MLS title with Sporting Kansas City in 2013, rejoined Timbers at the start of 2017 and had a scoring debut, but closes the season on a low, after his side went 1 – 2 down to Dynamo at home, having played to a barren draw in the first leg away in Houston.
Olum featured for the entire game, deployed as Liam Ridgewell’s central defence partner; their hopes were raised after Dairons Asprilla’s 39th minute opener but the lead lasted just four minutes, as Dylan Remick scored the equalizer to swing the tie in Houston’s favor heading to the break.
Timbers’ push for the second goal left them exposed and Mauro Manotas took advantage to score the second for the visitors in the 77th minute and they held on for the 13 minutes remaining to advance past the team that emerged tops in the Western Conference with 53 points in the regular season, three above them.
Ahead of the clash, Dynamo had beaten Olum’s former team, Sporting Kansas City in the play – in finals.
In the second tier NASL, another Kenyan international, David Cheche Ochieng, was an unused sub as his team, New York Cosmos, beat Miami 6-5 on post match penalties in the playoffs to advance to their second straight final, and will be hoping to clinch a second straight title.
Seattle Sounders through
In the other MLS playoff matches, Seattle Sounders advanced with a 2 – 0 aggregate win over Vancouver Whitecaps while Toronto, who lost 0 – 1 to New York Red Bulls advanced on the away goal rule after a 2 – 2 aggregate draw.
Colombus Crew also advanced despite suffering a 0 – 2 loss at the hands of New York City. Colombus had beaten NY City 4 – 1 in the first leg, thus advanced 4 – 3 on aggregate.