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Portland coach accuses Minnesota United player of using racial slur

The incident allegedly occurred during the Loons' victory on Saturday night.

Portland Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese accused a Minnesota United player of using a racial slur during the Loons' 1-0 victory over the Timbers on Saturday night.

Speaking at his postgame media conference, Savarese said a player directed the slur toward star midfielder Diego Chara during the 63rd minute of Saturday's game. Savarese did not specify the player or the term used but criticized referee Rosendo Mendoza for his handling of the incident.

The situation began when Chara, who is from Colombia, collided and kicked toward Loons midfielder Franco Fragpane, who fell to the turf. A three-minute delay ensued as game officials discussed the situation. 

Mendoza talked to Timbers captain Diego Valeri, Loons captain Michael Boxall and Loons midfielder Wil Trapp individually before the game continued.

"The referee should have handled this situation in a much better way," Savarese said after the game.

"We all are in support of Diego Chara about what happened to him today," Savarese said. "The discriminatory word that was said to him should not have a place anywhere at this time and I'm extremely disappointed that it was not taken as serious as it should have been. So the whole team, myself, the organization is with Diego Chara in this situation that happened on the field today."

Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath nor any of the Loons players were available for comment after the game as they flew home from Portland on Saturday night, but the team did issue a statement Sunday afternoon.

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