Portland Timbers Postscript: Keeping the Lows High

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Few draws have felt quite as much like a loss for the Portland Timbers as their 3-3 result against Real Salt Lake on Wednesday. That's in spite of the fact that, at least in terms of points per match, the Timbers are now second in the league only to the Montreal Impact.

By the Numbers

16, 15

Number of matches in 2011 and 2012, respectively, it took for Diego Chara to earn a suspension for card accumulation

22

Number of matches Diego Chara played in 2013 before serving a card accumulation suspension

19

Combined total of Portland Timbers regular season draws in 2011 and 2012

17

Number of draws with which the Timbers are projected to finish the 2013 season
(0.5 draws per match played)

Moment of the Match

Shortly after Javier Morales took a weak dive in the penalty area to draw a penalty kick that gave Real Salt Lake a short-lived lead, Diego Chara committed a similarly weak foul near the end line and promptly hammered the ball into the ad board in front of the beer garden.

It's the moment of the match for me, primarily because that fit of frustration took Chara out of the Timbers important upcoming match against the Seattle Sounders, at a time when the team's depth at center mid is particularly shallow. Depending on who is available this Sunday, Caleb Porter may have to make some difficult decisions about who plays in Chara's place.

It was also a telling moment for a team that really wanted a win and didn't look like they were going to get it. A win would have given them a share of first place. A win would have softened the blow of their USOC exit in Sandy earlier this month. A win would have given the Timbers just their second winning streak of the season, giving them a chance to extend it in Seattle. Ricardo Salazar, at least at that point in the game, was not cooperating with this desire.

Under Caleb Porter's mantra, "Keep your highs low and your lows high," the Timbers had done well to maintain an even keel through the course of their long unbeaten streak during the first half of the season. Keeping the highs low, as it turns out, might be a bit easier than keeping lows high.

Injuries and Suspensions

Yup, Diego Chara will miss Seattle away, as he will serve a suspension for card accumulation. Sucks.

On the bright side, there were no new injuries to report post-game, although now we're hearing that Ben Zemanski is day to day. Stay tuned to Will's training reports for updates on the possible availability of Will Johnson and/or Jack Jewsbury, both of whom are working on their returns from injury.

Around the League

Chivas USA 1:3 FC Dallas

Southern California was the site of the only other MLS matchup on Wednesday. After falling behind by a goal in the first half, Dallas scored three in the final twenty minutes, finally breaking their 11-game winless streak against the Western Conference's worst team.

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