Portland Timbers Postscript: Chasing the Game

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers played a weak final half-hour against the Seattle Sounders and deepened their hole in the Cascadia Cup standings. They can't lose another Cascadia match if they wish to retain the Cup.

By the Numbers

11, 6

Number of matches it took the Portland Timbers to lose four times in 2011 and 2012 respectively

25

Number of matches it took the Timbers to lose four times in 2013

118

Combined number of successful passes by Rodney Wallace, Kalif Alhassan, Darlington Nagbe, and Diego Valeri before the Seattle Sounders scored in the 60th minute

21

Combined number of successful passes by the above players after Seattle scored (15% of the combined total)

51

Timbers' average number of successful passes per 15 minutes over the course of the match (=307/6)

17

Combined number of successful passes during the 15 minutes immediately after Seattle scored

Moment of the Match

Lately, when the Timbers have scored a goal, they've tended to take their foot off the gas for a bit and let the opposition get their game back together again.

Seattle did the opposite after scoring their goal. They pressed harder for tackles and interceptions and dug more deeply into the Timbers' back line. As a result Seattle took more shots over the thirty minutes that followed their goal than in the 60 minutes prior.

Even more tellingly, three of Seattle's shots over the final 30 minutes were created from the run of play. That's compared to the one run-of-play chance the Timbers allowed over the first 60' -- an ill-advised boot by Osvaldo Alonso from about 40 yards out that sailed high and wide of the target.

Something stole the wind from the Timbers' sails after they went down a goal, whether it was a tactical shift that went awry or general fatigue and frustration. It was a completely different game thereafter.

Injuries and Suspensions

The good news is the Timbers will have Diego Chara back in the lineup for Friday's match against Real Salt Lake. The bad news is they'll lose Pa Modou Kah for his yellow card against RSL, and probably lose him for a couple more games for the easy decision he gave to the Disciplinary Committee.

The worse news is the possible re-injury that Jack Jewsbury may have suffered late on Sunday. The club captain turned in a strong performance on Sunday and might have been called on to take the place of either the possibly-still-recovering Will Johnson or the probably-not-ready-for-prime-time Alvas Powell. We'll have to wait for Will's training reports to find out if Jewsbury was stretchered off the field purely as a precaution, or if he's more seriously injured.

Around the League

Real Salt Lake 4:0 Columbus Crew

RSL pulled further ahead of the Western Conference and Supporters Shield races with a commanding win over the Columbus Crew, who have lost seven of their last ten.

Montreal Impact 5:0 Houston Dynamo

In another blowout, another Supporters Shield contender knocked the defending Eastern Conference champion Dynamo off the playoff pace.

FC Dallas 2:2 San Jose Earthquakes

If there were any doubters still out there, let this match serve as the closing argument that Blas Perez is the diviest diver that ever dived.

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