Portland Timbers Postscript: Knocked Around, But Not Beaten

Enjoy your time off, Alan Gordon. - USA TODAY Sports Images

A week after showing their fight against the Houston Dynamo, the Portland Timbers brought it again versus the San Jose Earthquakes. And again they won.

By the Numbers

2

Number of teams currently ahead of the Portland Timbers in the Western Conference (by my count, the last time this was the case was Week 10 of 2011)

3:5

Ratio of shots to fouls committed by Alan Gordon, Chris Wondolowski, and Steven Lenhart

1:2

Ratio of the shots on target to yellow cards by the above San Jose players

4:2

Ratio of shots to fouls committed by Portland's three starting strikers (Kalif Alhassan, Ryan Johnson, and Rodney Wallace)

3

Will Johnson's career high for goals in a season

Moment of the Match

It's hard not to go with Alan Gordon's elbow into Mikael Silvestre's mouth for this week's Moment of the Match, in spite of it having little effect on the game or the Timbers' eventual victory.

After an ugly game that included reckless tackles and hateful language, Gordon sealed his fate on a routine aerial duel, driving his elbow into Silvestre's face as he flew towards him. The referee, Hilario Grajeda, whistled for the foul but did not initially appear to be going to his book. Silvestre spent no time wallowing in pain on the ground and instead lept to his feet and challenged Gordon directly. His teammates held him back as he continued jawing at the "bash brother."

As the trainer came out to clean the blood off Silvestre's mouth, the replay of the elbow appeared on the jumbotron at the south end, eliciting head shakes from the players and chants of "Send him off" from the Timbers Army. Grajeda did just that.

Portland continued the dominating performance they had delivered up to that minute, including the persistent inability to work in that final ball in front of goal, until Ramiro Corrales took down Alhassan just outside the Quakes' penalty area. Will Johnson did the rest.

Injuries and Bookings

Andrew Jean-Baptiste missed his first MLS game due to injury on Sunday, reported by team officials as an adductor strain. There's no official word on his timetable for return, but considering Silvestre had a similar injury recently and came back the following week, we shouldn't expect AJB to be out too long.

Just a quick note on this adductor thing: in this case, it's adductor, not abductor. They are in fact opposites -- muscles that adduct pull limbs inward toward the axis of the body, while muscles that abduct move limbs away from the body's axis. The former includes the adductor muscles of the inner thigh and groin; the latter includes, for example, the deltoids in the shoulders, as well as the gluteus minimus in the hip.

Bookings-wise, Diego Chara became the first Timbers player to accrue two yellows on the season, on a rather weak but still dangerous tackle from behind.

And then there's Alan Gordon.

Around the League

Seattle Sounders 0:0 New England Revolution: The fact that Seattle is the only MLS team without a win will certainly bring calls for Sigi Schmid's dismissal from the Sounders fan base. But I daresay Sigi is not the problem, as he fielded a team that connected over 500 successful passes and controlled 69% of possession. Ultimately the blame has to rest with Caleb Porter, for failing to teach Steve Zakuani how to finish during his short time with Akron. (I like our coach more and more every day.)

Vancouver Whitecaps 1:1 Real Salt Lake: Vancouver ceded control of the ball but gave up only four shots to visiting Real Salt Lake, contributing 16 of their own. In the end, after an Alhassanian curler to the far post by RSL's Olmes Garcia, Nat Borchers slipped and accidentally handled the ball in his penalty area, leading to Camilo Sanvezzo's PK equalizer.

FC Dallas 1:0 LA Galaxy: San Jose's fans might be a danger to themselves and other fans, but so far we haven't seen them throw beer at one their own players after he breaks an 87-minute deadlock with a goal. Dallas fans are in a category all to themselves. As for their players, well, they still enjoy a good dive in the box. So do the Galaxy, for that matter. In other news, Kenny Cooper continues to have trouble with PKs.

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