Despite facing an FC Dallas side that were without their top three strikers less than ten minutes into Saturday's game, the Portland Timbers still faced a serious challenge from the league leaders. Both teams threatened to get on the board, but in the end it was the Timbers who came away with a victory and a clean sheet.
There were some standout players on the day that made finding our picks for the Man of the Match easy (for everyone but Ryan). Here are our picks, but make sure to share yours in the poll and in the comments below.
Geoff: Donovan Ricketts
It's gotta be Ricketts for me. Hats off to a number of Timbers players, but Ricketts made some huge saves against an FC Dallas side that was not only very much coordinated on the attack, but was gifted freekick after freekick by the referee. In these situations you gotta think that with most other keepers in the league right now, this game's looking quite a bit different on the scoreboard.
Ryan: Donovan Ricketts or Darlington Nagbe
[Will's note: C'mon, man.]
Ricketts made some crucial saves to earn the 3 points. Darlington scored an amazing goal and if it wasn't for some poor finishing should have earned at least one assist. Without either of these players Portland would have walked away with less than 3 points.
Stacey: Donovan Ricketts
At the end of the match, with the ref affording Dallas some questionable free kicks and the Timbers starting to succumb to tired legs, Ricketts needed to be on his game to preserve all three points for his team. He rose to the challenge, and thoroughly deserved the log slice he got to lift after the match.
Will: Darlington Nagbe
Dallas are no slouches on either side of the ball and it would take a moment of pure brilliance to unlock their defense. Fortunately, Nagbe had moments of brilliance to spare on day with the most obvious being his fantastic turn and shot for the game's only goal. However, for all the wondrousness off the tally, it was not Nagbe's best moment of the day. Rather, it was his sublime 76' scoop pass to play in Diego Chara that blew the most minds at Jeld-Wen Field yesterday.
There are our picks, but what are yours? Vote in the poll below and let us know why in the comments.