Monday, November 25, 2013

The Portland Timbers:Belief Beyond Reason

Tonight was grim, a hard confrontation with truths we don't like.   The Timbers Army and great tifo and clever chants and a football organization that recreated itself in less than a year,  nearly the proverbial 'blink of an eye', are not enough to carry us through to the Promised Land in a quick march.  

The game tonight was instructive,  whether or not we wanted instruction.   Our crew played their hearts out,   weathered two goals being called back and kept pressing on, pressing on so as not to leave the pitch without making their mark.  

But in the end Robbie Findley's goal stood up to throttle Portland's attempt to come back from their 4-2 loss in Salt Lake.   It was bitter medicine for the Timbers who have demonstrated that they can scrap their way back from the shadowed edges of many games.  Tonight they were not able to put their magic to work.   They had more shots, great set ups, but not on frame.  They were able to assemble clever attacks, but they were also nearly undone by bad passes and RSL set pieces.  In the first ten minutes of the match,  RSL was clawing at our throats with free kicks.   This was  recognized as an issue to address, but we didn't minimize the challenge in the game.    

Portland Timbers 2013 was a championship run from left field---totally not predicted by the previous year's results.   The hard work of Caleb Porter and his entire team- top to bottom- has been transformational.   We can expect that next  year's season will run true as an arrow to the MLS Cup. The absolutely wonderful season we've been provided this year suggests that our club has a vision designed to take us to the summit.