The Portland Timbers once again went to Colorado and got absolutely pasted. The Colorado Rapids did everything they were supposed to do and wanted to do, and meanwhile the Timbers looked listless on offense, and some of the defenders looked clueless. 3-0 loss and back into the cellar.
Well, you knew what kind of night it was going to be for the Timbers in the first couple of minutes when Kosuke Kimura let a long ball get over his head. When he tried to recover to get in front of the player, he slipped and left him wide open for a shot on goal. Thankfully the shot hit the post and went out. Even though no goal was scored you could tell it was going to be another one of those road games.
After dodging that early bullet the Portland Timbers tried to regroup and play the ball through Darlington Nagbe, but just like last game Colorado collapsed into the middle of the field and forced Portland to play it to the wings. When the ball was played to the wings Colorado would essentially double team the wing and force the ball to be played back or into a crowded midfield.
Usually when Portland did play the ball into the midfield, it was lost or Nagbe and Diego Chara had no other options but to play the ball back to the back line. Once the defenders had the ball, Colorado would sit deep and force the defenders to play the long ball. Rinse and repeat and you have Portland's first half offense.
While Portland's offense struggled, so too did Portland's defense. There is just something in Portland's psyche when playing on the road that gives them no confidence, and they play like a U-12 team. Kimura was all over the place and continually made baffling decisions; all of this combined lead to Colorado's first goal at the 6 minute mark. A cross was played into the box from Drew Moor and was headed to the far post. Kimura awkwardly tried to head the ball back and out of bounds when there was a Colorado player right on his back, and the ball bounced off of him and into the middle of the box. It bounced once and the CBs were just to slow to react, letting Andre Akpan score his first goal of the season.
Portland would then give up soft another goal in the 27th minute. The ball was played down the left side of the field, and a long hopeful cross was hit into the box. Portland's CBs had no one near them but the run came from behind Kimura, who completely lost his man. Donovan Ricketts made the first save with his feet but the rebound went right back to Tony Cascio, who then scored on the second shot.
Portland limped into the half down 2-0.
I am not going to waste a lot of time on the second half because in reality it was more of the same with some chances but none that you would actually call dangerous. In fact, Portland had 9 shots with only 1 on target. With that stat line the Timbers will never get a result on the road.
Portland once again gave up a late goal, from a corner. The first header was played back toward the goal. Kimura was out-jumped for the ball and it was headed through the legs of Ricketts.
- When a Ref allows Colorado to be physical, Portland's skilled players will always have a tough time. Well, everyone of them except Franck Songo'o, but he can only do so much.
- I really think Colorado just plays a style of soccer that makes it extremely difficult for Portland to play against them. Nagbe and Chara had no space in the center of the pitch. They are just Portland's "Bogey Team".
- Smith was the only defender who seemed to be doing what he was supposed to be doing.
- I was hoping for changes in the line-up. This was like a play-off series, and you can't do the same thing over again, unless you are the best team in the league, and expect the same results. A team will have prepared for what you did last game.
- If Gavin is giving young players a go, then I want to see Ryan Kawulok get a shot.
- I know the 4-3-3 was working but how about a 4-4-2 with Boyd and Dike paired up top? Maybe not for the next game but at some point I would like to see that too.
- Road games are fun to watch, aren't they?