Which experience was the dream? The 65 or so minutes in which the Portland Timbers rather ineffectually controlled the game or the OH MY GOD WHAT JUST HAPPENED? As in the three or so minutes where Portland turned a rather polite draw into a two-goal loss. Plus the loss of the starting goalkeeper. Maybe the some pieces of someone’s mind’s still out there. Haven’t looked yet.
There was nothing to do but look away, really, after Portland coughed up that second penalty kick. The Colorado Rapids wisely took the opportunity to give another player a chance to take that second PK, and why not Dershorn Brown, who appeared to have recovered from Donovan Ricketts’ attempt to leave part of his cleat above and just to the left of his groinal area. (Yes, I know “groinal” is not a word.) That kid, Weber, think his name is Andrew did really well to save Brown’s attempt, but he bobbled the rebound. So it goes, you know? Call it a bad day at the office. If your office was a meat locker. Cold, cold, cold.
It’s not quite a shame what happened, mainly because Portland never quite got around to doing a whole lot today. The Timbers possessed the ball well enough and worked it upfield competently – better than competently, at least once in the first half (’twas a smooth move that freed Jack Jewsbury on the right for a cross that resulted in not enough tragically) – but just about everything ended quietly. I haven’t reviewed the highlights yet, mainly because I’m trying to draw just my memory, keep it pure, y’know (as it can be given the decision to float my brain in a little beer).Portland “lacked cutting edge” – that’s the cliche – meaning their efforts fell somewhere between running out of ideas or making it too easy for Colorado snuff out their attacks. Doubtless they had some more – here are the highlights for interested parties – but the one clear effort that comes to mind came by way of a cross from the right side that drifted just a little behind the soft spot of Mamadou “Futty” Danso. That shot bounced well wide and, again, no other shots come to mind, so…too few kicks in anger, perhaps?
I’m not great a spotting these things. I mean, god knows how Bruce Lee chose between the kicks the pupil jabbed at his head in Enter the Dragon; I didn’t see that either.
Someone else I didn’t see: Darlington Nagbe. He started on the inside according to the starting line-ups and he wandered there aimlessly for much of the game; no one’s sure, for we only have rumors of his presence. Diego Valeri flirted with the right, but only as a diversion/wing-man for Jack Jewsbury, who had the most productive evening on that side. Jewsbury’s forays upfield, in fact, proved the most attractive avenue to the Rapids’ goal, but most of proverbial business happened on Steve Zakuani’s. I very distinctly remember him running with the ball at his feet, teasing defenders, but I don’t really recall much coming of it.
Colorado countered with….well, probably not Dillon Powers, at least not past the first 10-15 minutes. Just about everyone vanished upon wandering into the center of The Dick (Dick’s Sporting Goods’ parks inevitable nickname). Nick LaBrocca, I do remember – and I’m among those smug-shit-know-it-alls who view him as underrated, probably just to name drop – and he popped up on the left-ish, typically right before me yelling at the screen, “No, no, no, shut down that shit! The man can shoot!” (For he can.) So, the players who stood out most for me among Colorado players were Brown – who gave Jewsbury enough periodic fits to make me puzzle a little about how Jack got free – and, collectively, the Klute-free defensive unit. They really did shut Portland down. And that’s to their credit, even if shutting the Timbers down so far this season has required just being present. At least until the 90th minute rolled around. But Colorado mastered even that…
Bottom-line, I guess a draw is the best the Timbers could have hoped for. Instead, a couple players screwed up big (two goalkeepers in one game; as they guy I watched the game with said, “How often does that happen?), and that’s the pair of brain farts from the title. That’s all it took. Toot and toot. Game over.
The last few weeks at least featured a couple valiant late-game rallies, but the loss to Colorado just kind of petered out. We have a goalkeeper down, due both to suspension and, possibly, injury (haven’t heard yet, personally). We have an offense still sorting itself out, but there’s time. In MLS, there’s always time…
…there’s a stack of hard games ahead, unfortunately, and crazy as it seems, it is possible to get far enough down in this league. It might take a couple gutsy draws before we sort out the offense. It should come, though. It better come…where’s Bruce Lee when you need him? Even if you’re not 100%-sure what he’s talking about (“emotional content?” Seriously? What the guy said in Fistful of Yen makes more sense than that).