By the Numbers
Real Salt Lake's average possession over three league matches against the Portland Timbers in 2013
Number of Western Conference teams other than Real Salt Lake who have had the majority of possession in all three matches against the Timbers
Games (other than those against RSL) in which the Timbers have not had the majority of possession
The Timbers' record in those games
The Timbers' record against Real Salt Lake this year
Moment of the Match
The Timbers and Real Salt Lake were deep into their 5 minutes of stoppage time when Chris Schuler brought Frederic Piquionne down in a heap right outside the box. The Timbers were awarded a free kick a bit too close to loft the ball for Futty Danso and Piquionne. Will Johnson would either have to take it himself or try to pull off something tricky like this to see if he could catch Real Salt Lake off guard.
Johnson opted to shoot and he skillfully got the ball over the wall and under the crossbar, but it just wasn't far enough to either side of Nick Rimando. It was a wicked shot though, so all the he could do was slap it away in the direction of a wide open Sal Zizzo. His effort too was palmed away by Rimando and this time the defense cleared the ball out of danger.
This is my moment of the match both for what it could have been and for the way it is sort of the game in a microcosm. The Timbers had a few chances like Johnson's original shot, that would have beaten lots of keepers, but not Rimando. And they had their fair share of chances like Zizzo's follow up, where the opportunity was perfect and the finishing was poor. If Zizzo's can put that rebound anywhere else on frame--left a couple of feet, down, maybe up over Rimando--this is probably the moment of the match for a different reason.
Injuries and Bookings
Jose Valencia left the match bleeding in the 68th minute after knocking heads with Chris Wingert. Luckily, we know from Will's training reports that the cut by his eye is the full extent of the injury and there are no concussion concerns.
The only booking for the Timbers was a yellow card issued to Diego Chara. That's seven for him this season according to mlssoccer.com, which is still not enough to get him in the top five for yellow cards.
Around the League
Once not so long ago, it looked as though the Sounders would be surging into the postseason with the Supporters' Shield in hand and lots of momentum on their side. They did in fact clinch a playoff spot later in weekend thanks to San Jose, but as they tallied their fourth straight loss, they looked nothing like the team of August and September and much more like a team stumbling drunkenly into the playoffs.
San Jose had a chance to put some real pressure on the Colorado Rapids, who currently sit in the last playoff spot, but after failing to beat LA, they are out of the playoffs unless the Vancouver Whitecaps beat Colorado and San Jose can make up 13 goals on the Rapids. By not winning, they also clinched a playoff spot for the Sounders. At least they stopped LA from passing us and jumping to the top of the Western Conference.