Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Urruti makes his mark with a flying boot!

Let's call him "Max" because we want to be friends with him.   Maximiliano Urrutiis the most recent hero to join the "boys in green" and perhaps the most likely to evoke exuberance after his flying, extended foot goal against the Galaxy on a soggy Sunday last weekend.   The link suggests that this goal was not a fluke and that the twenty-two year old player has definite magic.    Be that true or not,  his goal Sunday was stunning.

On a corner kick from the attacking left side,   the crossing ball came in at an awkward height,  too low to easily head and too high to easily trap or flick on.  Urruti ran well past the near post, saw the ball coming and extended his right foot just enough to deflect the ball past a stunned Landon Donovan into the net.   It is difficult enough to deflect a crossing ball from the near post back to anywhere dangerous with one's head much less with an outflung boot while in full forward run.  But Urruti....er...Max did just that.

In the video recap, he continues forward toward the fans and he is clearly exuberant as he should be.   In the stands,  I saw the goal and gasped as did thousands of others because the goal was so unexpected and 'bellissimo'.    Maradona or Messi would have been proud to have owned that touch.

But Max is a player with more than just the rare, spectacular touch in front of goal.  He was a Timbers' wolf hounding the Galaxy keeper through the game and forcing one bad clearing kick after another.   His speed and intensity pressuring the defense were clearly unsettling. And his vision of play and reflexes were on display when at 56 minutes in the game he gave a squirting pass outside to Rodney Wallace who forced the keeper to fly one-handed for the save.

As the season marches inexorably toward the playoffs,   the Timbers give evidence of paring away all the "win resistance" and focusing on the qualities of determination, patience, and creativity to make their point.   Max gave a tutorial on those qualities in the rain on Sunday.
And we march one step closer to our first playoff appearance.

Our blessings to the entire Timbers' crew.  You've given us some great moments this season.  Regardless of how it plays out,  we're proud to be part of a club which can be legendary.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Odds and Ends bobbing in the torrent...

This weekend has brought the first big Pacific storm to the city.  We will probably still be experiencing some gusting winds and rain squalls when the Timbers take on the Galaxy this afternoon.   I'm not sure whether there's any advantage either way  but it could add extra uncertainty to the run of the ball in a game that has many uncertainties.

Before I went to bed last night I looked at the MLS feed on Apple TV (a newly added source) which I've only watched on my computer before.   The game highlights look good on the big screen.   I was happy to see Bright Dike,  a guy I've always had good feelings about,  knock home a lovely goal for his new club, Toronto.   By contrast,  I watched Troy Perkins our former keeper get stripped of the ball on a just plain, boneheaded error,  and give up a goal.  And last,  Lovell Palmer, also a former Timber,   came streaking down the right side in his match to put a ball on the foot of his striker to help RSL get the winning goal over the Caps.  
There are definitely a lot of players out in the MLS who've worn our colors and are still considered good enough to play at this level.   I think it's a sign of the franchise envisioning a team that plays at the top of this level and building toward it.   

I like it.   See you all in Section 209!