Game Flow: Portland Timbers Seeing Red

Portland could have used 90 minutes from this guy. - Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight game the Portland Timbers' player received a straight red and lost the game.

When I was trying to break up the game into different sections, I felt like this game had 25 minutes of real soccer. The rest of the game was broken up so much by fouls, injuries, red cards, and just about every other stoppage of play possible.

Opening Whistle to 10th minute: Right from the outset you could see that FC Dallas had watched film on every game the Timbers had played as they immediately attacked down the flanks with speed. Meanwhile Portland was doing exactly what they had done the previous three games, namely start slow. It took until about the 10th minute before Portland finally woke up and started to play possession and was able to commit numbers forward.

10th minute to the 40th minute: If you watched nothing else but these 30 minutes you would have thought Portland played a decent game. The attack looked fluid and Darlington Nagbe looked like he was the most dangerous man on the pitch when he wasn't on the ground writhing in pain after being chopped down at the ankles. Of course this same ploy was being used to great affect by the Timbers on Mauro Diaz and the speedy wings. Which brings me to my rant.

This was the worst officiated game I have watched in a very long time. The game had no flow and the skilled play makers were hammered all game long without any repercussions. I am not just talking about Dallas fouling Nagbe but I am also referring to the amount of times Diego Chara hammered Diaz. When you give out a red card every other game it looks like you want to be the center of attention and are dictating how the game will turn out. I am not sure about all of you but I thought the first two games of the season were the best referred games we have seen in a long time. Can we go back to the replacements?

If Portland could have continued to press as well as they did in this section of the game, they had a decent chance of 3 points or at least 1.

40th minute to Final Whistle: Once the red cards were given out the game became a game of fits and starts. Portland did not want to commit more than four players forward at a time because they were wary of Dallas' speed. Committing so few numbers forward meant that it would take a moment of brilliance or dumb luck for Portland to score during the run of play and thus the goal was to win a set piece and score on that set piece. As luck would have it, Portland scored on an own goal but then failed to win one ball on a set piece and all their hard work went down the drain.

Observations:

  • I don't know what is wrong but this team is not clicking at all.
  • Gaston Fernandez reminds me of Franck Songo'o in the fact that he is technically gifted but there are times he looks like he gives up defensively.
  • It might be time to give Michael Nanchoff a run and see what he would bring to the game.
  • My radical switch in the line-up would be to return Will Johnson to his RSL roots and play him on the right wing. Nagbe would be on the left and I would run a 4-4-2 with Chara as the DM.
  • I am a little worried that the next game is Seattle. I just don't know what we are going to get from this team.
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