The Sun always shines over the Timbers Army. Photo by Jeremiah Mitchell Braeback
Well that was fun, wasn't it? It's not every day you see 8 goals scored in a single soccer. In fact, tonight we witnessed as many goals in a single half than were scored all of last Saturday.
You know what, I feel good after this match, and I never say that after a loss. Take out that ten minute period where the Timbers fell asleep and the refs inserted themselves into the match (and not in a good way...), I saw a lot of positives come from the play today, and here are the ones that are most impactful in my opinion.
The first is that Kris Boyd scored two goals. At the introductory press conference, one of the first things that was said was that Boyd was brought in to put the ball in the back of the net. We have seen a lot of ups and downs from him this season, but one thing that seems to be coming out more lately. After tonight he is 1 goal off what Cooper had all last season in half the games and has figured into many of the goals for the Timbers otherwise. Coming off not playing whatsoever in the past year or so, he seems to finally be getting into goal-scoring form.
Another positive I saw was creativity and possession. The boys looked to have more freedom in their play today, and that led to them having 61% of the possession, a pass completing ratte of 83% and out passing LA 571-371. I can't of another time when I can associate the Timbers with numbers like that in recent memory. The hesitancy that we have gotten used to seeing from them was gone and they some great runs that should have resulted in goals. They seemed to play with confidence and composure, and save for that 10 minute period, the Timbers were very much in the game. The listlessness that usually comes after giving up a goal or two was gone and they kept on fighting until the very end, looking like they could pull back into the match, even after giving up the last goal.
Brent Richards finally got his chance. He seemed to bring creativity and energy to the attack and while he was admittedly not happy with his performance, I thought he brought fight to the game. He also knocked Beckham on his ass and out of the game, so that's another plus. As we move forward, I hope that we will see more of him.
Many people will have differing thought than I on this match, and that is fine. Coming into match we had seen 2 solid home performances interspersed with 3 listless performances on the road. Tonight we saw fight from this club and as we head into home and away matches against Chivas USA and FC Dallas, as well as a road march at Toronto, the opportunity is ripe for the Timbers to make some progress in the standings and gain confidence on the road. The Timbers brought a never say die attitude tonight, and with 15 points on the table for the taking, we could be talking about a much different team, when Vancouver comes to town at the end of August.
The sun is always shining over the Timbers Army. Here's to hoping it shines over the Timbers as well!