The 21-year-old Englishman scored his first MLS goal on Wednesday night to help the Timbers secure a 1-1 draw at the New England Revolution.
The 21-year-old wide man opened the scoring only two minutes after replacing striker Jack McInerney in the 62nd-minute, getting onto the end of a Darlington Nagbe cross before firing a deflected shot into the back of the net.
A Jermaine Taylor own goal one minute from full-time meant the visitors ultimately had to settle for a point on the night, but the Englishman was nevertheless pleased to open his MLS account on just his third appearance for Caleb Porter’s side.
“I think it’s vital that it get it off as soon as you can, get off the mark as soon as you can,” Barmby told Portland’s official website after the match. “Hopefully, many more to come.
“Coming in as a sub, it’s hard to get the intensity straight away. But fortunately, the ball fell to D [Darling Nagbe], he chipped it over the defender’s head when I saw it. I didn’t get the cleanest contact but it was probably most effective. If I would have hit it cleanly I probably would have missed. It was good to see it go in.”
Barmby, the son of former England international Nick, joined the Timbers in early March on a three-month loan with a view to a permanent move when his Leicester contract expires this summer, having failed to make a first-team appearance for the Foxes since being signed from Manchester United in the summer of 2014.
The youngster endured a difficult debut earlier this month in a 4-1 loss at Orlando City SC, when he started the game in his less-than-favourable left-back role, but he looked much more comfortable in his latest outing after being used on the wing.
He was culpable for some poor marking in the build-up to New England’s late equaliser, but head coach Porter was quick to talk up the former England Under-20 international’s potential at the final whistle.
“Yeah, I think the thing that we have to realize is that he’s a young kid,” Porter told timbers.com. “He’s 21-years-old. And, you know, he’s learning. But, he took the goal pretty well. It was a little bit lucky, but he was in the right spot.
“Overall, his technique was pretty good on the play. But, on the other end, he made a mistake that cost us. So, with young players, you take the good and the bad, and he’ll learn from it and grow.”
After winning their first-ever MLS Cup title last season, the Timbers have got off to a slow start to the 2016 campaign, taking just nine points from their opening eight games with two wins, thee draws and three defeats.