It was not an easy night to be a Timbers supporter. After two victories in a row, it looked like Wednesday’s match would be an opportunity for the Timbers to get their first three match winning streak and their first road win of the season. It took one minute to see this was not going to be the Timbers night when Kosuke Kimura got absolutely torched on the wing by Tony Cascio, whose shot clanged off the post. Five minutes later, the Rapids scored when Andre Akpan got to a loose ball in the box and slammed the ball in the goal. The Rapids never looked back and the Timbers rarely threatened to even make a comeback in taking another 3-0 loss at Dick Sporting Goods Park.
Here’s a few thoughts on the match:
* Timbers defender Kosuke Kimura
This was Kimura’s worst game as a member of the Portland Timbers. To be honest, he’s played pretty poorly since joining the team and fans are getting quite a few looks at why the Colorado Rapids were willing to unload him. I’ve always liked Kimura’s pace and hustle, and I love his passion for the Timbers, but he makes too many mistakes to be an automatic write-in on the lineup card. Tonight those mistakes played a hand in all three Rapids goals. It’s time to give Ryan Kawulok at look at right back.
Check out the post-match comments from Kimura. I appreciate his candor, but am I wrong in thinking he wasn’t really mentally prepared to play tonight?
- On the return to Colorado: “The first 10 minutes I wasn’t on it. [Tony] Cascio had a chance to score a goal; he had an assist on one goal. It was an individual mistake I think. I thought we played good enough to create chances to get some points, but like I said an individual mistake let the team down. We played well in the second half; everyone came out with a really good mentality. I thought we kept the ball, and created good chances. When those chances come, we have to finish it. Otherwise, the momentum doesn’t go our way. It was a little emotional game for me. That’s how it is as a professional, so I’ve got to suck it up and I’ve got to keep moving forward.”
- On if there was any extra pressure on him tonight: “I wanted to play well. Coach told me not to be too emotional, but I got caught up in the moment a little bit. I can’t let that happen in a game. It’s just 90 minutes, but if for just one minute you lose focus, it’s just going to kill you at the professional level. I put pressure on my shoulders today, but it didn’t come out well. Like I said, it’s a professional game and you can’t fix the past, but you’ve got to try to fix the future. I think if we keep the ball like we did in the second half we can get more points the rest of the season.”
I said it on Twitter earlier tonight, but I think it’s worth mentioning here as well:
Full disclosure: I was a big Troy Perkins guy. I know he wasn’t Petr Cech and sure, he had his faults (distribution mainly), but Perkins made huge saves for this club. In 2011, I’m convinced Perkins’ play, especially the save he made to preserve the win in Chicago, was the main reason there was any talk of making the playoffs.
All that said, it’s a business and trades happen, but Wilkinson saying what he said about the trade really set up Donovan Ricketts in a bad way. Has Ricketts performed well? At times, yes. Has he made fantastic saves? Yes to that well. Is his distribution better than Perkins? Probably. Ricketts did have that 50 yard throw against Vancouver. But he’s also booted the ball from his box to the other team’s box and kicked four balls out of bounds last Friday so color me unimpressed. Have some of the things we heard from Impact fans, such as poor hands and positioning, appear to be true? Yes, I definitely think so. Does all of this add up to an upgrade? Definitely not and because Gavin Wilkinson made the statement he made, this is something that’s going to come up again and again as long as Ricketts is with the team.
* Put away the optimism
It’s time to be honest with ourselves: the Timbers stink. Cue up the Jim Mora video. This is not a playoff team and hasn’t been even close to a playoff team this entire season. The Timbers got themselves out of the Western Conference basement for a grand total of five days, only to play a stinker on Wednesday night and drop right back down. The Timbers belong in last place. Everything that has plagued the team this season (poor first touch, easy giveaways, playing kickball, man-marking in the box, set piece defense… I can go on) happened tonight. It was a terrible performance. In a league with as much parity as MLS, it’s hard to believe that the Timbers can’t even get a fluke win on the road.
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 0 0 0
Colorado Rapids 2 1 3
COL: Akpan (Cascio, Moor), 6
COL: Cascio (Castrillón), 27
COL: Castrillón (Moor, Hill), 86
COL: Zapata (Caution), 14
POR: Chara (Caution), 42
COL: Thomas (Caution), 46
POR: Smith (Caution), 74
POR: Jewsbury (Caution), 83
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Ricketts, D Kimura, D Mosquera, D Horst, D Smith, M Nagbe, M Jewsbury ©, M Chara, F Zizzo (Mwanga, 77), F Dike (Boyd, 67), F Songo’o (Fucito, 82)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Bendik, D Brunner, D Kawulok, M Alexander
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Dike, Zizzo, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Chara, 1); FOULS: 14 (Horst, Jewsbury, 3) OFFSIDES: 7; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 3
COL: GK Pickens, D Moor ©, D Wynne, D Marshall, D Zapata, M Thomas, M Larentowicz (O’Neill, 86), M Castrillón, M Cascio (Mullan, 81), M Rivero (Hill, 73), F Akpan
Substitutes Not Used: GK Ceus, D Wahl, M Smith, F Casey
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Cascio, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Cascio, 2); FOULS: 12 (Akpan, Castrillón, Rivero, Zapata, 2) OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 1