Portland vs DC United: The Fortress shows cracks

Sorry this one is a little late compared to when the game ended. I had my 3 year old son with me at the game and then went with the Family to honor those who came before us and served our country at the National Cemetery. Anyways on to the recap.

Quick Recap:

Portland plays listless soccer for much of the game and gets punished by a team that could actually finish. Portland goes down 3-2 at home. 

More after the jump.

First Half: 

I am doing this from memory and without notes so mainly it is going to be observations so bear with me. The Portland Timbers came out like the Portland from the first 3 games. It was as if the whole team reverted back and thought someone else would get to that ball or cover that man and just like in the first 3 games Portland went down in the first 15 minutes from a throw in in the attacking third. It was a nice header back across the goal that was put in by DC United. Watching the replay on the jumbo-tron you could see those who were in the vicinity look around as if to find someone who was supposed to be marking the goal scorer.

From the goal on Portland really wanted to attack and some times their passing actually let them. The rest of the time the ball just seemed to be a ball in a pinball machine and most of time it ended at the feet of a DC United player. The one opportunity that did look promising was called back because it was deemed Kenny Cooper was offside. Portland went into the break down 1-0 for the first time at home.

Second Half:

The second half looked a little more promising and Portland looked to come out strong. However Portland still wanted to come down the flanks and our outside mids were not getting that final ball into a really dangerous area. Finally Portland broke through and drew a penalty in the box as Kenny Cooper was brought down from behind. What came next was probably the most bizarre set of events this season. Cooper stepped up and hit the penalty which was saved by Bill Hamid, however the Assistant Referee called for a re-kick as he determined Hamid came off his line early (The Goalie is allowed to move side to side as much as he wants but cannot come forward until the ball is kicked). Again Cooper stepped up and this time went the other way and again the AR called for a re-kick. At this point Cooper was ready again to step up but Mamadou "Futty" Danso And Jack Jewsbury were both trying persuade him to let them take it. All three of them looked to the sidelines and it finally looked like John Spencer made the decision for them and gave the kick to Captain Jack. Captain Jack then buried it into the back of the net. 

Finally the Timbers looked like they were ready to play and might be able to pull out the win but the universe thought otherwise. Chara sliding in to stop a shot was deemed to have handled the ball with his arm as he was sliding and DC was awarded a Penalty. From this point on Portland just became more and more frantic and DC was able to counter and have dangerous opportunities on goal with them getting 1 more. Portland was able to get one back to make it interesting but in all honesty did not play well enough to deserve a tie, let alone a win. 

Observations:
  • Just like Geoff posted Portland got what they deserved as they looked like the came out thinking it was a guaranteed win just by stepping out on the pitch.
  • The Timbers passing was terrible and seemed to be forced, they need to slow down and just play.
  • Kalif Alhassan was dangerous running at players but just couldn't get that final pass to create a goal scoring opportunity
  • If the Timbers are going to attack down the flanks they should have better service from the wings or the forwards need to be in better positions because it isn't working.
  • Portland's free kicks were not looking as dangerous as they have been in previous games. 
  • Portland needs to score from the run of play and soon.
  • We all knew it was going to happen at some point but a loss still stings.
  • At least we are doing better than our Expansion Brother to the Far North.
  • Despite what people might think Jeld-Wen will never be silenced so don't let those headlines fool you.
  • One final observation: MLS home teams this week were 0-5-4, so we weren't the only ones to lay an egg at home.
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