Portland Timbers Postscript: The Little Train that Could

Still no photos from yesterday's match. - Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Spor

The Portland Timbers didn't look sharp against the Vancouver Whitecaps but still pulled off a draw away from home, maintaining their unbeaten streak.

By the Numbers

4

Number of road games in which the Timbers have come from behind to get a result

10

Number of road goals the Timbers scored during each of the previous two seasons. (Thanks, @TheMikeDonovan)

10

Number of road goals the Timbers have scored already in 2013

2

Number of goals by Timbers substitutes in 2012

2

Number of goals by Timbers substitutes already in 2013 (both on the road)

5

Number of MLS teams for whom no player has accrued more than two yellow cards

Moment of the Match

Just four minutes before Futty Danso was sent off for lightly tapping Camilo Sanvezzo on the shoulder which sent the latter into flailing roll, Caleb Porter produced the moment of the match, bringing Jose Adolfo Valencia into the game for fullback Jack Jewsbury.

It was a bold move, to be sure, but it was exactly what the team needed, at exactly the right time.

First, a little background. After a dominating performance last week in which Rodney Wallace ran roughshod over Mario de Luna and Diego Valeri operated nearly unopposed from just behind the Timbers' front line, Vancouver responded with a defensive performance that threw off the balance of the Timbers' attack. The Vancouver midfield seemed to know exactly how to knock Valeri off his game, jostling him off the ball and cutting out his through-balls. Meanwhile, Young-Pyo Lee provided more than enough to counter Wallace's creativity and confidence on the wing.

In short, Vancouver's game plan was simple: take dead aim on last week's men of the match. And, you know, dive a lot.

As the team scrabbled for an equalizer, they relied increasingly on long balls from deep in the midfield to create scoring chances. But Vancouver's back line is too strong to allow a guy like Ryan Johnson to get on the end of those hopeful balls.

It's times like this when you need someone unstoppable. It's times like these when you need a little train.

Injuries and Bookings

The Timbers lost Darlington Nagbe to an ankle injury in the 34th minute. Speaking to reporters after the match, Caleb Porter didn't seem too concerned about the injury, saying Nagbe tends to recover quickly from these types of injuries. Will Conwell will have more details on that in this week's training reports.

Far more damaging to the team's near-term prospects was the red card given to Futty Danso. Unless the team is somehow able to appeal the decision (a long shot, despite the diviness of Camilo's fall), the Timbers will be without Futty next weekend against DC United. Pa-Modou Kah will certainly take Futty's place, but once again Portland will be left with a short bench at the centerback position.

The Timbers also uncharacteristically received three yellow cards, to Michael Harrington, Will Johnson and Diego Valeri, but the team is no closer to a card accumulation suspension, with the highest number of yellows accumulated by a single player remaining at two.

Around the League

Seattle Sounders 4:2 FC Dallas

The Sounders won their second third straight and are now unbeaten in their last five six, after taking down the current league leaders, FC Dallas. Seattle opened the game with some early goals before letting their lead slip away early in the second half. But they went ahead a minute after the equalizer and sealed the deal late.

San Jose Earthquakes 1:1 Colorado Rapids

Atiba Harris should have had a hattrick in this game, but sadly he went goalless against the reigning Supporters Shield holders, who once again scored in the final 15 minutes to steal the point.

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