I am ever the optimist and always try to find the silver lining in dark and stormy clouds and these last few months have not been even close to the Cumulus humilis of last year. The clouds have not even been the typical Nimbostratus clouds of a normal up and down season but have been the cumulonimbus incus which usually foretells a very rough patch in the weather.
However even with all of he doom and gloom there have been some bright spots and some of them could be found in last weekend's game. There are some signs, not many but thy are there, which point to a Portland win this weekend and I will get into them after the jump.
Sagittaris is in the third phase and Jupiter is waning
By having Darlington Nagbe and Diego Chara play a more forward position on front of Jack Jewsbury there seemed to be a better flow to the offense. Yes there were some long balls but an offense which continually does only 1 thing is very easy to defend and last Saturday Portland looked like they were varying their offense and finding wholes in the defense.
Not only was their a better flow to the offense but there seemed to be a lot more pressure higher up the field which limited the balls Chivas' attackers were able to receive. Usually Portland has allowed a lot of passes to come out of the back to the forwards or wings and then had to react which created chaos and opposition were not tracked and goals were scored. If and when Portland was able to cut off the balls our of the back it was Diego Chara who usually would cut off a lot of the passes but he was positioned so deep in Portland's half that no counter could be created bu against Chivas Chara was higher up the field and cut off a lot of passes which lead to dangerous counters, unfortunately no one wanted to score for Portland.
Ophiuchus has just been added as the 13th Sign
Brent Richards earned his first start last Saturday and there was a lot to be pleased about. Yes at times he looked like he was a boy among men but there were also times he created something when you thought he couldn't. His ability to win aerial battles and but the ball where someone can run onto it is a weapon not many teams have and even though you know it is coming and you try and put a body on him Richards can out jump just about anyone on the pitch. Adding a new dimension to a stale attack can be a good thing as long as it continues to lead to goal scoring opportunities.
Aside from Richard's ariel prowess he just tries stuff. I know that may sound like it is a negative, and it can be, it really can be a positive. Clint Dempsey just tries stuff and it works sometimes and other times it doesn't but the mentality to try and get by your defender in multiple and varied ways is a skill some attackers lack. Now sometimes the "just try stuff" quality backfires, like the back heel to the opposing team when the Timbers were all out of position, but given time and experience in MLS Richards could turn into a real gem.
Karma is.... Well you know the saying
At some point Portland will have something go there way. Of course there is no way to know when Own Goal will score his third goal or Kasey Keller rolls around on the ground and takes pity and throws it into his own net but at some point something like that will happen. Now for it to happen against FC Dallas Portland may have to help give Karma a kick in the pants. As the saying goes "Hard work makes good luck" and if Portland continues to show no quit and believes Karma and the Soccer Gods may finally smile upon them this year.
I for one am going to do everything I can to appease the Soccer Gods and remind Karma she owes us.