In a season filled with games that Timbers fans will never forget, the boys in green have added another unforgettable game to the list. This time, however, the Timbers won and in doing so brought home the Cascadia Cup, the first time the organization has been able to do so with all three teams competing.
Against Vancouver the Timbers struggled to get anything going on the attack, needing a wonder-strike from captain Jack Jewsbury to secure all three points. However, on the other end of the pitch the defense locked things down, limiting Vancouver to only one shot on the game. With the Timbers defensive issues throughout the year in mind, most of our picks drew from the Timbers' back line.
Will - David Horst
Horst came out and did his thing against Vancouver. With the Whitecaps coming out and playing a physical game, Horst stood strong in the center of the defense, putting his body on the line in what was only the Timbers' fifth shutout of the season. Mosco certainly had the more high profile match up in Camilo, but it was Horst's calm and measured play that held things together and was just what the team needed to grind out a Cascadia Cup victory in the last road game of the season.
Andy - Hanyer Mosquera
With the exception of Steven Smith's first half performance, the Timbers defense made their case for staying on the team in 2013, holding Vancouver to a single shot on target (and even drawing a rare offside call). Mosco appeared to have the toughest task of the match, in keeping the Caps' most dangerous player of the game, Camilo Sanvezzo, at bay. Even handicapped by an early (and totally unfounded) yellow card, Mosquera shut down the Brazilian for 48 minutes. Even after Mosco had left the pitch, it looked as if Camilo was too worn out from the battle to contribute much more than a yellow card of his own, for persistent infringement. We'll hope the knee injury hasn't ended his season.
Stacey - Donovan Ricketts
Ricketts looked calm, cool, and collected, and the Timbers badly needed that. Most of game they struggled to find a rhythm and often looked jittery and disorganized. Not Ricketts. He wasn't asked to make many saves (except his great reaction save on Steven Smith) but he made a big play when a long ball landed right in front of his goal for Camilo Sanvezzo. He also limited Vancouver's scoring chances by coming out strong and catching a lot of their crosses and corner kicks. Vancouver's offense didn't look terribly strong, but a loose corner kick bouncing around in the box could have been the one chance they needed.
Geoff - Jack Jewsbury
While Cap'n Jack was having a decent night over all, his biggest and most obvious influence on the game was the golazo from outside the box. While an argument can be made for a number of players, I think it's safest to say that without Jewsbury on the field tonight we're looking at a completely different result. He was integral to the game at large and was largely responsible for bringing the Cascadia Cup back home to Portland, where it belongs. What more can you ask for from your captain?
There are our picks for Man of the Match, but what are yours? Be sure to cast your vote and let us know why in the comments.