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Playoffs on the line for both the Timbers and Dynamo

 Posted by on October 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm  Uncategorized
Oct 142011
It seems every match over the last few months has been a must-win for Timbers (11-13-7), but there is no doubt that tonight’s home finale against the Houston Dynamo (10-9-13) is the biggest — for both teams. The Timbers have a game in hand, and are only 3 points apart in the race for the final MLS wildcard spot.


* Probable starting lineup: Troy Perkins, Lovel Palmer, Eric Brunner, Futty Danso, Mike Chabala, Sal Zizzo, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Chara, Kalif Alhassan, Kenny Cooper, Darlington Nagbe.
* Since a rough road trip to close out August, the Timbers have lost only one out of their last seven games, while at home, the Timbers haven’t lost since July 10 against Seattle.
* Two of the newest Timbers, Mike Chabala and Lovel Palmer, came in a trade with the Houston Dynamo (for Adam Moffat) over the season. Since joining the team, the Timbers are allowing just .7 goals per game and have recorded six shutouts while posting a 5-4-4 record.
* If the Timbers make the playoffs, they will be the 5th expansion team ever to make the playoffs in their inaugural season.
* How big is it for the Timbers to get off to a great start and score the game’s first goal, especially at home? The Timbers are 11-1-3 when scoring first while also scoring 30 goals in their 16 home games (1st in MLS).
OUT: GK Adin Brown (concussion); DF Kevin Goldthwaite (L knee ACL rupture); FW Eddie Johnson (concussion); FW Spencer Thompson (R knee); PROBABLE: DF David Horst (L groin strain); GK Troy Perkins (R hip soreness); FW Jorge Perlaza (lower back soreness)
OUT: FW Cam Weaver (R hip)
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: POR: Mike Chabala, Diego Chara, James Marcelin, Rodney Wallace…HOU: Brad Davis, Adam Moffat
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: POR: Kalif Alhassan, Jack Jewsbury… HOU: Bobby Boswell, Danny Cruz, Hunter Freeman, Je-Vaughn Watson, Cam Weaver
I’m so excited for this game I can barely sit still and it’s “only” just under ten hours until match time. Tonight has all of the ingredients to be possibly the most exciting match of the season. Jeld-Wen is going to be a madhouse. The playoffs are on the line for both teams. Palmer and Chabala are out to prove themselves against their former teammates. Protege (John Spencer) takes on the teacher (Dominic Kinnear).
I think the Timbers are going to come out strong and get an early goal which will just electrify the 18,627 fanatics at Jeld-Wen. Houston will be on the ropes after that and I think the Timbers will be able to score the knockout with a second goal just after the half. I have a feeling Brunner gets one goal tonight off a set piece. Timbers win 2-0 and find themselves even with Houston and New York at 43 points.

Columbian connection leads Timbers to 2-1 victory over the Whitecaps

 Posted by on August 21, 2011 at 7:14 am  Uncategorized
Aug 212011
On Saturday night, the Columbian connection of Diego Chara and Jorge Perlaza each scored a goal to lead the Portland Timbers to a big home win in front of a loud and boisterous 18,627 at JELD-WEN.
It only took the Timbers 72 seconds to get on the board as Diego Chara took a centering pass from Jorge Perlaza and fired a beautiful shot past a diving Joe Cannon to score his first goal fo the seasons and the fastest goal in Timbers MLS history.
Perlaza got his 6th goal of the season in the 33rd minutes when he slammed home a ball bouncing around in the box after a Jack Jewsbury free kick.
After two road games this past week in hot and humid environments, it was no surprise to see the Timbers looking a bit ragged in the second half. Vancouver controlled much of the possession (over 63%), but the Timbers still almost had a 3rd goal when Khalif Alhassan banged one off the left post.
Despite holding much of the possession, Vancouver didn’t mount many scoring opportunities and keeping forward Eric Hassli in check. Hassli was clearly frustrated by the Timbers defense and when he was substituted in the 84th minute, he walked past both benches and went immediately into the locker room.
While the Timbers played strong defense and fought through their fatigue in the second half, they still couldn’t keep the clean sheet for Troy Perkins. The Whitecaps finally broke through in the 88th minute when Camilo scored with a shot to the far post. Perkins looked to be screened on the play and reacted late to the shot.
The Timbers (8-12-5, 29 points) got back on the winning track and kept their playoff hopes alive with the 3 points, moving just 3 points back of the final wildcard spot. Coming up for the Timbers is a huge match this Wednesday, August 24th, against Chivas USA (7-8-10, 31 points) at JELD-WEN.
It looks like the Timbers may be without center back Mamadou “Futty” Danso for that match though. Danso left the game in the 76th minute with a hamstring injury.

Men of the Match:

Perlaza, Chara and the Timbers backline who kept Hassli from making any sort of impact in the game.


“I thought Diego Chara was fantastic. He looked, no disrespect, like a man amongst boys tonight. In my humble opinion, he looked like a Premier League player tonight.” ~ Timbers Coach John Spencer

Game Stats:
Scoring Summary:
POR — Diego Chara 1 (Jorge Perlaza 2, Jack Jewsbury 8) 2
POR — Jorge Perlaza 6 (unassisted) 33
VAN — Camilo 8 (Jordan Harvey 4) 88
Misconduct Summary:
POR — Kalif Alhassan (caution; Reckless Tackle) 23
VAN — John Thorrington (caution; Reckless Tackle) 73
VAN — Camilo (caution; Handball) 86
Vancouver Whitecaps — Joe Cannon, Jeb Brovsky, Michael Boxall, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey, John Thorrington, Gershon Koffie, Peter Vagenas (Mustapha Jarju 51), Camilo, Eric Hassli (Omar Salgado 84), Davide Chiumiento (Shea Salinas 63).
Substitutes Not Used: Philippe Davies, Greg Janicki, Jonathan Leathers, Jay Nolly.
Portland Timbers — Troy Perkins, Lovel Palmer, Mamadou Danso (Eric Brunner 76), David Horst, Mike Chabala, Sal Zizzo, Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury, Kalif Alhassan, Kenny Cooper (James Marcelin 83), Jorge Perlaza (Bright Dike 69).
Substitutes Not Used: Darlington Nagbe, Brian Umony, Rodney Wallace, Adin Brown.
Match highlights:

 Columbian connection leads Timbers to 2 1 victory over the Whitecaps

Monday Reflections After Timbers Lose a Tough One to Houston

 Posted by on August 15, 2011 at 6:54 pm  Uncategorized
Aug 152011

mlswildcard Monday Reflections After Timbers Lose a Tough One to Houston

It is tough to be a Portland Timbers fan these days. The #SWIWS (So What If We Suck) hashtag made a reappearance last night after not really showing its face since 2008. Whatever your thoughts might be on that tag, it’s becoming hard to stomach the schizophrenic tendencies of these Timbers. It was a mere 10 days ago when the Timbers blew out the league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy, only to see them follow up that match with much weaker efforts against San Jose and Houston.

Here’s more thoughts and reactions to last night’s match against the Dynamo:
* Call it a 4-5-1 or even a 4-3-3 but whatever the formation is, I’m not a fan. The Timbers look lost at the beginning of each game playing it and it seems to almost take a half for them to get into the flow with each other. I’d prefer Coach John Spencer go to a 4-4-2 and just man up. At this point and with their playoff lives at stake, the Timbers really have nothing to lose.
* It’s popular to rail on Kenny Cooper and make him a scapegoat for the Timbers’ difficulties. However you have to admit, his failure to convert those two opportunities in the final 10 minutes against the Dynamo is mind-blowing.
* Sal Zizzo continues to impress in his starting role, especially on the offensive end. Although his finishing needs to improve, he blew past the speedy Corey Ashe last night to get the assist on the Timbers’ lone goal. However, his mental lapse and ball watching on Houston’s second goal was inexcusable. He’s capable of much better.
* Timbers fans must be absolutely gutted about seeing Eddie Johnson getting carted off last night. Already recovering from a concussion, it’s very disconcerting to see Johnson suffer another head injury.
* Troy Perkins might be in the running for his 3rd MLS Save of the Week after his save against Brian Ching. Kudos to Perkins on a fantastic season for the Timbers thus far. He’s been their MVP in my opinion. It would be nice though to not see Perkins continually in the running for MLS Save of the Week.
* My question regarding Johnson’s injury is where was the referee? Johnson received two pretty serious knocks on in-the-air challenges, both from Houston’s Andre Hainault’s elbows. No call either time and maybe a call early on makes Hainault think twice about leaping into Johnson with his elbows leading the way.
* Who gets the start at right back against Sporting KC on Wednesday? Palmer is out with yellow card accumulation. There’s also word that Steve Purdy and Jeremy Hall didn’t make the trip. Does Chabala move over to the right side then and Rodney Wallace get the start at left back? We shall see Wednesday I guess.
* The Timbers are desperately close to being eliminated from the MLS playoff hunt. See above left (Credit: A very uphill climb indeed. The next 3 matches: @Sporting KC, Home against Vancouver and Chivas – the Timbers need at a minimum, 7 points.
A preview of the upcoming Timbers/Sporting KC match will be out by Wednesday.