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Rapids beats Portland 3-1 in season opener

The Associated Press
Saturday, March 19, 2011; 11:31 PM

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.

Pickens caught Peter Lowry's shot in the 28th minute. Goalkeeper Adin Brown allowed three goals in the first half.

© 2011 The Associated Press