There were solid shifts put in all over the pitch as the Timbers took on the San Jose Earthquakes last night, but who did enough to stand out from the crowd? Here are our picks, but be sure to share yours in the poll below.
Geoff: Mikael Silvestre
Will Johnson's amazing free kick goal notwithstanding, I can't think of a better person to earn the honors this week than Silvestre. He was simply everywhere at the right time. He also showed that he's a great leader. Did you see Futty Danso out there? Yeah, he looked solid. It was a great game for him overall, but I largely attribute his good positioning and skillful passing to Silvestre's guidance. I don't even want to think about what the Timbers defense would look like without him. Also, bonus points for getting in Gordon's face after a reckless elbow. That guy needed to be stopped and if the ref was reluctant to do it at first, I'm glad Silvestre at least wasn't afraid to do something.
Andy: Mikael Silvestre
The Timbers' midfield crushed San Jose's and they deserve credit for that, but the real magic belonged to Mikael Silvestre. He has led a different starting backline nearly every game he's played, but somehow they keep looking better every week. This in spite of being tasked with enforcing two of the filthiest strikers in MLS, plus last year's golden boot winner. SJ did get their chances, but the on-target shots they had were all straight at Ricketts. Ricketts hoisted the slab as is his honor and privilege, but much of the credit goes to Silvestre.
Will: Will Johnson
After a quiet night early on, Will Johnson provided the one moment of quality that the Timbers needed to put them over the top. Time and again the Timbers just could not connect on the final pass or get on the end of the crosses played into the box and at times the game seemed destined to finish 0-0. Luckily, Johnson was there to take advantage of the team's one free kick opportunity. Let's also not forget that he lead the team in recoveries, went chest to chest with anyone (everyone) on the 'Quakes who made a bad tackle, and kept his cool when Alan Gordon lost his.
Ryan: Michael Harrington
When the 2012 Golden Boot winner is your defensive assignment you could be in for a long night. Unless of course your name is @mikeymoney2. His offensive runs down the left side of the field pinned Chris Wondolowski deep in his own half and forced him to play defense instead of offense and this took him completely out of the game. Harrington and Silvestre have been rocks in the back all year and are a huge reason why Portland has earned 2 consecutive clean sheets.
Honorable Mention to Kazper for once again breaking out the Go Ahead Sundae with the score tied at the half. His action once again brought home three points.
Stacey: Mikael Silvestre
It was impossible to look at a San Jose starting XI that included Lenhart, Gordon, and Wondolowski and not feel a little nervous, but the back line, led by Mikael Silvestre, was up to the challenge. They were particularly impressive dealing with San Jose's set pieces. San Jose has a lot of big targets who can cause trouble on corners, free kicks, and their long throw-ins, but somehow the Timbers often made it appear as if every San Jose player was double-teamed. No way would the back line look so organized and together without Silvestre's leadership. Silvestre was also quick to get to any loose ball in the Timbers defensive third and showed off some delightfully expressive hand gestures when he took that elbow to the face.
There are our picks, but what are yours? Vote in the poll below and let us know why in the comments.