Portland Timbers Postscript: Physicalphia

USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Union bludgeoned their way to a scoreless draw at their home on the Delaware, as referee Ricardo Salazar looked on with shrugged shoulders. (And he wasn't even the weekend's worst referee.)

By the Numbers

0

Difference between the Portland Timbers' 2012 point total after 34 games and their 2013 total after 20 (34)

44

Number of fouls Darlington Nagbe has suffered in 20 matches this season (3rd in the league)

1.75

Average number of fouls Nagbe suffered per match over the first 16 matches

4

Average number of fouls Nagbe suffered per match over the past 4 matches (including 4 against Philly)

6

Number of fouls Nagbe has committed in 2013

6

Number of bookings Conor Casey has received in 2013

Moment of the Match

This week's Moment of the Match comes from Stacey Neve, because she didn't throw a brick through her TV when that episode of COPS was aired.

When the weather delay was finally over, both teams came out looking to re-establish their rhythm and, they hoped, get a quick a goal. In the 55th minute, Frederic Piquionne received a goal kick from Donovan Ricketts, flicked it on for Darlington Nagbe, and then made a great run up the field to receive a pass from Diego Valeri. Piquionne hit a nice low ball across the face of goal, which Zac Macmath came out to collect but completely missed.

The ball rolled across the face of a wide open goal, just begging to be tapped in, but was instead cleared away by Sheanon Williams. The ball only made it as far as Will Johnson, who got it right back in the box for Valeri. With a defender right on his back, Valeri still managed to turn and get off a hard shot, but MacMath had it well covered at the near post.

The save didn't necessarily define the game--not any more than some of the other great saves--but it might have been the Timbers best scoring opportunity of the night, and it came just moments after Jack McInerny had tried a little trickery at the other end of the field, only to be completely shut down by Andrew Jean-Baptise and Ben Zemanski.

This was my moment of the match because, watching both those attacks amount to nothing, fans started to get the sense that, although this was a match between two of the best attacking teams in the league, it was simply destined to end in a 0-0 draw. It was going to take something pretty special to beat two goalkeepers and four center backs who had brought their A game, and neither offense has that sort of magic in them Saturday night.

Injuries and Bookings

For the first time since their 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids just under a month ago, the Timbers went a full 90 minutes without a booking. No small task, considering the rough play Philly was bringing on Saturday.

Now, while we're on the subject of bookings, Kip Kesgard has helped clear up some confusion about where everyone stands. Despite what mlssoccer.com's disciplinary report shows, Diego Chara has received 4 yellow cards this season, along with Ben Zemanski. After Saturday, Chara now has two more opportunities to put off his accumulation suspension, while Zemanski needs just one more.

Andrew Jean-Baptiste, meanwhile, has accumulated just three yellows, not four.

On the injury front, Diego Chara left the match on Saturday at halftime. He had taken a knock trying to prevent a shot from Danny Cruz in the first half, and my guess is that whatever resulted from that hit tightened up during the long delay between the halves. But we'll get an actual report on his condition in training reports this week.

Around the League

Seattle Sounders 1:1 Colorado Rapids

Once again, the Sounders controlled possession and created a ton of chances, but ended the game leaving points on the table. It's telling that Seattle looked like they only really wanted to score during the five minutes after Colorado took the lead in the 60th minute. Once they equalized, they seemed to relax a bit.

Real Salt Lake 1:2 Sporting Kansas City

It's never good when a referee decides the outcome of a match, and Matthew Foerster's creative timekeeping did just that, in the favor of visiting SKC. Still, it's nice to gain a little ground on the front-runners.

LA Galaxy 2:1 Vancouver Whitecaps

If we're gonna talk about bad reffing, we'd be remiss not to praise good reffing, which is what we saw from Chris Penso in the Galaxy-Whitecaps match. Two very difficult calls stick out -- LA's first goal, in the 29th minute, and Juninho's dive in the 72nd minute. I encourage y'all to watch the highlights on those.

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