The Portland Timbers put on a convincing effort to both secure the Cascadia Cup and their first (and last) road win of the season.
Keys to the Match
It wasn't perfect and Hanyer Mosquera and Steven Smith both made a couple of head-scratcher decisions. However, overall, the Portland Timbers were able to lock up their end of the field even during a 6 minute stoppage time rush for the goal from Vancouver's side. From Kosuke Kimura successfully locking up the right side, to David Horst not tracking up half way into the field. The Timbers' defensive backline was far more effective than we've seen in recent years. Nice to see Eric Brunner come up huge too.
Also, that was the Timbers first shutout since the Colorado Rapids home game on August 31st.
Gavin Wilkinson was lambasted a couple weeks ago for fielding a line up that was seen as inferior against arch rivals the Seattle Sounders. It was later found that he fielded them as a sort of "trial" for the upcoming season despite the importance of the game. Well, against Vancouver, we saw no such thing.
He's been a wildly mixed figure for the Timbers this year. Fans have gone from loving him to hating him, to loving him. However, there's no two ways about it. If Cap'n Jack Jewsbury wasn't on the team tonight that goal of the week shot would not have been made and the results might have looked far difference because while the Timbers defense looked solid, their offensive efforts fell short most of the time.
In the middle of BC!
With last night's win it officially makes the Portland Timbers undefeated in two years at BC Place. I know that's only across two games, but it kind of feels nice to be undefeated somewhere. Additionally, next year the Timbers will have to play there twice rather than once so going in with a bit of an edge will certainly be helpful, especially since it will be an uphill battle for the Cascadia Cup in 2013.
Moment of the Match
In the 39th minute when Franck Songo'o passed the ball back to Jewbury who sent in a howler of a goal to the upper right corner. The replay made it look like the keeper was closer than he was to saving the ball as well. In truth, he was quite a ways away from making the save.
In some ways, it reminded me of Kenny Cooper's goal last year, though I would argue that it the goal was a little more quality and a whole lot more exciting.
Hanyer Mosquera was subbed off early in the second half due to a right knee injury. No word just yet on how long he's expected to be out or if he'll make the final home game of the season against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Aside from that there's nothing new to report.
Around the League
Despite the loss to the Portland Timbers, a 3-1 win by the Seattle Sounders against FC Dallas has successfully put our Cascadian-Canadian rivals into the play offs. This marks the first time a Canadian team has ever made it into the play offs.
Elsewhere in the league the San Jose Earthquakes won the Supporters' Shield due to a nil-nil sleeper by Sporting Kansas City against the New York Red Bulls. With that draw there was simply no way for Kansas City to catch up to the Northern California side. San Jose, for their part, played the LA Galaxy to a 2-2 in the California Clasico where, apparently, some LA fans were arrested.