The Portland Timbers (7-13-6, 27 points) got a rare clean sheet as well as their first ever win over the Colorado Rapids (8-17-2, 26 points) to get themselves out of the Western Conference basement.
Here’s my three quick thoughts about Friday night’s match:
* Bright Dike
Dike continues to legitimize his place in the starting eleven with not only his second goal in three starts but with all around solid play. In the preseason, owner Merritt Paulson said there were big plans for Dike this season. However, those plans didn’t really come to fruition as Dike couldn’t even crack the 18 for months. When Dike was loaned out to the Los Angeles Blues, count me as one person who was disappointed but also a bit worried that might be the last of Dike we’d see in the Rose City. But Dike tore up the USL Pro (3rd division) winning player of the week honors twice as well as scoring six goals.
A lot of credit should go to the Timbers Front Office on making the decision to loan out Dike. As Shawn Francis from @theoffsiderules tweeted last night:
I’d like to go on record: Bright Dike’s recent form makes a case for loaning out young #MLS players to lower divisions
Now back with the first team, Dike is making the most of his opportunity.
* Hanyer Mosquera
Mosquera was an absolute beast last night and his play represented a key moment in the season. Mosquera played like he was on a mission to will the defense to that clean sheet last night. There was a moment in the closing minutes last night where Mosquera sprinted 25 yards to get to a ball to head it out of bounds. For me, that was one of those moments in a season, where you see a player’s drive and will to win. For me, it’s a statement as well that Mosquera is easily captain material. Mosquera was not going to let the defense allow a late goal last night. Four weeks ago, I think the Timbers might have found a way to give up a call and we’d be talking today about just getting a point. Mosquera represented the progress this team has made in the last month.
* Tweet of the night
@jrodius from the Best Soccer Show tweeted this last night:
“Porter is inheriting a hell of a piece of coal that just needs pressure and time. Could be the diamond of MLS soon.”
Pretty interesting right? I sure hope that plays out to be true.
Gavin Wilkinson on the play of the back four:
“[Colorado] had some chances, but we had some phenomenal chances we should have capitalized on. [David] Horst and [Hanyer] Mosquera, I thought were first class. I think they challenged for everything, their understanding was fantastic, they played with urgency. They played with a lot of maturity. I think the second half, for me, was definitely not the way we wanted to play. It wasn’t pretty, but we found a way to win, and we’ve kept challenging the group to play with maturity and find a way to win. It was a good second half in many, many ways, and those two, I think, led by example.”
Portland Timbers (7-13-6, 27pts) vs. Colorado Rapids (8-17-2, 26pts)
Aug. 31, 2012 – JELD-WEN Field
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Colorado Rapids 0 0 0
Portland Timbers 1 0 1
POR: Dike (Zizzo, Nagbe), 45
POR: Smith (Caution), 30
COL: Larentowicz (Caution), 70
COL: Wahl (Caution), 87
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Ricketts, D Kimura, D Mosquera, D Horst, D Smith, M Nagbe (Alexander, 75), M Jewsbury ©, M Chara, F Zizzo, F Dike (Boyd, 88), F Songo’o (Wallace, 78)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Bendik, D Danso, F Fucito, F Mwanga
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Songo’o, Zizzo, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Dike, Jewsbury, Songo’o, 1); FOULS: 9 (Chara, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 4
COL: GK Pickens, D Moor ©, D Wahl, D Wynne, D Marshall, M Larentowicz, M Thomas, M Cascio (Castrillon, 77), M Mullan (Cummings, 46), M Rivero, F Casey (Akpan, 67)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Ceus, D Palguta, M Nane, M Thompson
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Rivero, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Rivero, 2); FOULS: 10 (Thomas, 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 2
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Jeff Hosking
4th Official: Daniel Radford
Attendance: 20, 438
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Sunny, 74 degrees