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Cascadia Summit: Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Stumptown Footy is really going deep into the depth chart to give you a recap of this game.   So, I Rory Gates [Kejsare], have been tapped for the summary of the second Cascadia Summit match.  May the Force be with you.

Appearing for the second time in as many days Brian Umony again made his case for a roster spot.  His well placed shot in the 5th minute gave Jay Nolly some trouble and set up the first goal.  The Umony shot bounced out in front of the open goal and Ryan Pore, ever the opportunist, powered the ball into the goal.  The circumstances were surprisingly similar to the goal against the Sounders last night.  The domination in the initial moments of play by Portland gave way to a more tempered approach by Vancouver once they were able to start controlling play and minimize mistakes.

Marcelin performed well in the midfield with fine distribution and positioning.  He was able to create a lot of opportunities for the wings using his size and ball skill.  Marcelin gobbled up a lot of balls right in front of our backline all afternoon by muscling players off the ball.  He and Moffat  were clogging up the passing lanes for the opposing teams' midfield as well.  The outside backs, Taylor and Braun, were coming forward, as per Spencer's tactics, to offer a few crosses and penetrating runs.  Taylor's balls strayed a little far but I like how he was bending them into the dangerous area between the six and penalty spot.  Braun found several good combinations between him and Kalif and was dangerous late in the game with some enterprising runs.

Vancouver was able to pressure Timbers' backline and on a good development by Blake Wagner forced Adin Brown to save the ball. Unfortunately, the deflected ball came off the foot of David Horst and into the goal.  The own goal apparently gave the Whitecaps some motivation to keep the pressure on the Timbers defense.  Another chance at a goal almost came in the wanning moments of the first half with another cross and shot that just missed.

Ryan Pore's hustle in the first half was a highlight in the match.  Gifted a goal off of Umony's strike he hounded the back line and showed great confidence on the ball attempting to win plays with his speed.  He was joined in that effort by Brian Umony who was stealing balls deep in Vancouver territory.  Eddie Johnson may have appeared to be a quiet man of the match, but as the point man of the attack he was winning headers and knocking down balls for Umony.  See Brian Ching for a slight reference.  He also showed himself to be comfortable with his back to the goal finding chances to distribute to streaking midfielders.  He unleashed a decent 69' strike from outside the box before being subbed.

This backline combination of Futty Danso and David Horst did well to give Atiba Harris trouble.  However, Harris didn't need much room to unleash a 34' strike that hit the post.  Harris will give every MLS defense fits with his size and positioning.  Each header was a battle between Horst and Harris.  Since Vancouver doesn't have many true strikers the Timbers were not employing the offsides trap like they attempted against the Sounders.  A few times the ball stayed too long at their feet allowing pressure and dangerous risks if the ball was given over to the Whitecaps.  

Adin Brown got tested in the second half and made saves when he needed to.   Laid out for a 30 yard strike from Harris and later taking dangerous balls out the air on corners.  Came up big on a 74' minute 1v1 against Harris.  Apparently his hip injury meant Horst had to take the goal kicks in the second half.

The Timbers are still struggling on counter-attacks with opponents coming late on the far post.  A weakness of having the wings and outside backs making attacking runs.  Several of the most dangerous Vancouver chances came through the far post runs.  In the last moments the game became energized as both sides pressured to get a win.  Rodrigo Lopez had a sizzling half-volley in stoppage time.  Cannon did well to push the ball wide.  Rochat and Brown sprinted to an open ball late, the former winning it, but his shot went wide of the goal.

The field conditions made it easier for both sides to play possession soccer as opposed to last night's drencher.  Promising play from both sides as these newly promoted teams will be opening their inaugural MLS seasons in two weeks.

EDIT:  I realized I should mention the number of brash tackles from both sides, which is evident from the number of yellow cards.  There easily could have been a few more bookings.

Game Observations:

 

  • Timbers Army were easily heard, coming through clearer than ECS last night.  Granted there were fewer other fans making noise.
  • Very rusty Vancouver combinations in the first 10 minutes.  A few misplaced balls.  In the end they brought a well qualified response to going down so early.
  • Border crossings.  Much more difficult these days.
  • Pore-Umony-Johnson combination was deadly in the first half.
  • A healthy Adin Brown is a marvelous site.
  • Starfire has freight trains.  PGE has MAX light rail.
  • Vancouver only had 5 players go the full 90 to Portland's 8.
  • Any point earned by Vancouver in the next match against the Sounders means either an overall tie or win for the Timbers in the Cascadian Summit.
  • It was noted over 30,000 viewers followed the POR v. SEA webcast.  The game on ESPN in May will be epic.

Lineup:

Portland Timbers
GK - Adin Brown
RD - Chris Taylor
CD - Mamadou "Futty" Danso (Yellow 44')
CD - David Horst (35' og)
LD - Freddie Braun
RM - Ryan Pore (5')
CM - Adam Moffat (Yellow 22', subbed, Roro)
CM - James Marcelin (Yellow 55')
LM - Kalif Alhassan (subbed, Bim)
F   - Eddie Johnson (subbed, Thomson)
F   - Brian Umony  

Subs:

73' - Spencer Thompson

81' - Rodrigo Lopez

90' - Bim Ogunyemi 

Phew.  Preseason over.  Two weeks.  Fourteen days.  336 hours.  20160 minutes.  MLS opener.  You have been warned!  We'll be Coming!

Alright guys, I don't believe I have to say this but, just in case, please do not submit anything racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise not appropriate for even the younger Timbers fans.

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