Portland Timbers Postscript: Well, That Was Fun

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers finish the regular season on a very high note, with their biggest win in MLS and a stellar first-half performance by Diego Valeri.

By the Numbers

4

Number of 5-0 games this season

50

Percentage of those games where the losing team was Chivas USA

2

Number of 5-0 games in 2012

50

Percentage of those games where the losing team was the Portland Timbers

6

Number of multiple-goal wins by the Timbers in 2013

1

Number of multiple-goal losses by the Timbers in 2013

1

Number of multiple-goal wins by the Timbers in 2012

8

Number of multiple-goal losses by the Timbers in 2012

Moment of the Match

Any game with five goals is going to have its fair share of exciting moments, but one of the coolest moments of the match between the Timbers and Chivas actually happened right before one of the goals. Jaime Frias misplayed a pass and turned the ball over to Diego Valeri, who gratefully accepted and dribbled right up the middle of the field toward the goal. Valeri had already given the Timbers a 1-0 lead, so three Chivas defenders were quick to close in on him, but with just a little cut back to his right, Valeri got away from two and found some space.

As Valeri found that bit of space, back behind the play Darlington Nagbe raised his arms, already beginning to celebrate the goal he knew was coming even though Valeri hadn't taken his shot yet. In a broader sense, Nagbe's preemptive celebration seems representative of how much belief the players have in one another, and it's a striking difference between the rather hopeless team from 2012 and this 2013 team that is at the top of the West and about to make their first playoff appearance.

And after Nagbe's celebration came the goal itself which, in a broader sense, seems representative of how awesome Diego Valeri is.

Injuries and Bookings

Donovan Ricketts made everyone a little nervous near the end of the match when the medical staff came out to tend to him. From then on he left the goal kick duties to his defenders, but he did play out the remainder of the game. We'll likely know more about his status when Will posts his next training report.

No one got booked in this game. Not one single player from either team. For the sake of our players' health, we can be very grateful that as awful as the game got for Chivas, they didn't resort to beating up on our guys.

Around the League

Philadelphia Union 1:2 Sporting Kansas City

Kansas City crushed our Supporters' Shield dreams with a very late game-winner. The Union, fighting for their own playoff hopes, threw numbers forward to push for all three points, which left them too open at the back. Kansas City punished them and, indirectly, us.

New York Red Bulls 5:2 Chicago Fire

As it happens, even if the Union had held on for the draw, it would have only prolonged the Timbers' SS hopes for about 24 hours. Mike Magee scored first, but New York came storming back, scoring five goals and knocking Chicago out of the playoff spots. The Fire got a second goal in the 90th minute, but it was all over by then.

Seattle Sounders 1:1 LA Galaxy

Clint Dempsey scored his first MLS goal, but it wasn't enough to get the Sounders the win they needed to avoid the play-in game. Robbie Keane got the equalizer for LA in the second half and the Sounders had to settle for the 4th seed and for a draw in their final home game. The Sounders will host Colorado, who lost 3-0 to Golden Boot-winner Camilo Sanvezzo and the Vancouver Whitecaps.

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