Road Victory! Portland Timbers 2 – Red Bulls 1
It wasn’t pretty and the Red Bulls had plenty of chances but when it was all said and done the Timbers had won just their second game this year and first one on the Road.
It doesn’t get any easier, though some might think that given Chivas is next up – but lest it’s forgotten Chivas manhandled a much maligned Dallas defense not too long ago so the threat from Torres and the empty stadium remains.
I take it most everyone who supports the Timbers watched the game Saturday afternoon so no need to rehash what most should already know.
Instead a reminder that the Timbers, on the face of it, really are a very good attacking team – and like it or not, a very poor defending team.
Aye, the Red Bulls scored just one goal but there were many, many, many chances that went awry and the savior for the Timbers this past weekend was the Red Bulls defense.
Not once this year have the Red Bulls won a game when Convey starts at fullback – that is three games now (game 1 when they got stuffed by Vancouver, last week against Chicago, and yesterday) where the Red Bulls have been out scored and basically crumbled at all the wrong times in defense!
So the ails of the Timbers back-four were less painful but again Pa Madou Kah was out-played and had to resort to a petty arm-wrap-pull that probably wasn’t as vicious as it appeared… it doesn’t matter – the Referee blew and New York got the PK. What was missing, thankfully, was a deflected own-goal and a Red Card…
On the brighter side Mckenzie, Paparatto, and Jorge Villafana showed pedigree last night. Jorge held his own in defending and delivered some superb crosses. Others may disagree but I think his timing and his crosses are actually better than Michael Harrington! One game does not a player make but given he has had absolutely no quality minutes, like McKenzie, this year, his play and timing and touches were superb!
And to pile on a bit, perhaps unfairly???, I didn’t see Jorge losing focus like I see coming from Michael Harrington at times. The call up to the USMNT is over – time to buckle down on the left side – or perhaps right side if any consideration is given to having Jewsbury play Center-back and moving Harrington to the right side!?! It is what it is…
Anyhow – more to follow later this week on how the Timbers compare to Chivas this year in overall team performance… this game may be quite a bit closer than you think…