Monday, April 27, 2015

Portland Timbers v Seattle Sounders….again

Last night's match in Seattle between the Sounders and the Timbers was 90 plus minutes of full on stress.  I could recap a play-by-play but other commentators have already done a better job---probably with video links.  I don't have much to offer here except emotional responses.   I thought our crew played really well and showed poise and unity against one of the best sides in MLS.  We were mature enough to hold the ball and demonstrate patience.  Some rough edges came when younger and newer players--Ishmael Yarty and Dairon Asprilla-- were either not quite in the flow or held the ball a little long and were shut down.  On the other hand, each of those players showed passion and created good chances.  And it was not as if Seattle was hitting on all cylinders--their passes went astray too.  

The game was physical and happily there were no terrible injuries.  Alonso's assault on Nagbe early in the game had all the sophistication of an assassin driving a garbage truck.  "Oh, did I run you over?".   

Our crew had their chances--Adi's shot off the bar could have been the decisive one.  And there were others.  I'm still not quite sure what the solution is….as if I could say that after all.
Nagbe had an immense impact on the game, particularly in the first half.   If there were more consistent penalties for using him as a punching bag, he'd be more effective.   We had some beautiful attacking teamwork when he wasn't just knocked down. Chara as always was a bulldog loose amongst the attackers and he even took an opportunistic shot, a good sign.  We were getting more players into the attack.  

So at the end of it all,  I am saddened for the loss but pleased that the team played so well in the circumstance.   I think we're close….really close.  Valeri and Johnson returning will make a difference.   'Caps match at home is on the horizon.    We've got enough games ahead to get back in the swim.