Portland v. Chivas: I Have Seen a Movie Very Much Like It, However

Sometimes this is how you watch a game.

Say you’re at an indoor amusement gallery in a suburban shopping mall – we’re talking bum-fuck, even for the suburbs – and you’re trying to get 10 people into a laser tag arena at 10 o’clock on a Saturday. The place is loud, full of blinking lights and reeks of sweat. You don’t even want to look at the carpet. The second you walk in, though, you see they have the Timbers game on a big screen TV at the back of the room. Which is nice. You squint across the room – you need new glasses; have I mentioned that? – and see it’s 1-0 to Portland. Which is nicer.

Then again, the first thing you see is Portland failing to clear their lines on a set-piece. This is about the 65th minute, maybe closer to the 70th. It’s familiar, but definitely not reassuring. Still, the score keeps the bet you made alive (Portland needs to win) and that gets you wondering if the other bet you made (that Darlington Nagbe would score) came off. A replay reveals that Nagbe didn’t get Portland’s goal; Will Johnson did. Nagbe set it up, though, which is nice, but you know you’re already down a couple bucks. Continue reading

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Portland v. Dallas: The Search for Second Gear/Base

Promises of progress ring hollow when they go long enough without being fulfilled. That’s not complicated.

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Closer to scoring a goal than the Timbers…

And the Portland Timbers find themselves in a fairly uncomplicated position after four games and two points. Anyone can sit back and weigh what’s going well for Portland and what isn’t. Here’s a piece that does it, but I haven’t even read it yet, just to make sure I’m relying on the pickled brain cells; don’t want things like optimism and reasoned caveats to get in the way of righteous funk. What needs to happen is fundamental enough that it doesn’t need dressing up: it’s time for the Timbers to start scoring goals on one end of the field, at least deliberately or earlier, and stopping the dumb ones from going in the other end.

So, the Portland Timbers went on down to Dallas, waded past the longhorns (presumably; I have to assume that’s why those beasts featured in the broadcast intro) and took the field. Things started reasonably enough that to make a case for viewing this as the Timbers brightest start to any game in 2014. Too great a gap between the defense and midfield made for the sole worrying sign I noted early. Then again, I don’t remember a lot of major importance happening in the first 30 minutes or so…(highlights for those interested in confirming). Continue reading