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UPDATE: US Open cup: Tough Loss to San Jose

Hey Ref! what game are you watching? (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Hey Ref! what game are you watching? (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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Quick recap:

Portland had Perkins in Goal and 10 so called reserves(John Spencer doesn't like the word reserve team so I won't call them that). The boys fought hard but in the end came up 30 secs short of going to Penalties. San Jose Earthquakes advance 1-0.

First Half:

The Timbers really came out of the gate strong and tried to get an early goal with a lot of high pressure on the back-line of San Jose. Spencer Thompson was really flying around the back and did his best to break up any rhythm San Jose was trying to build.

More after the Jump.

Portland's midfield was really firing on all cylinders and played well through the middle third of the pitch but  could not get the final ball into any dangerous positions. After San Jose weathered the first 15 minutes the game settled down into something that resembled a street soccer game. Elbows and bodies were flying all over the place and the ref was really inconsistent on what he thought or did not think was a foul. The indecisiveness led to quite a few botched calls for both teams and let the game get out of control.

Portland did have their chances in the first half to put one away with James Marcelin hitting a great shot from long distance that just went wide of the goal in the 16th minute. Again Portland had another chance in the 35th minute when a ball was played into the box but the chance was wasted as the ball went out of play for a corner.

Portland finished the half with 3 shots and 2 of them on frame. San Jose finished with 3 shots and none of them on frame.

All in all a great half with lots of energy from those who haven't seen a lot of minutes but the final ball in the attacking third needed to be better.

Second Half:

Once again from the whistle Portland looked to put a lot of pressure on San Jose for the first 15 minutes. San Jose again weathered the high pressure and then tried to find their playmakers in Chris Wondolowski and Bobby Convey

Portland's defense did a great job by denying any service to Wando and Convey was bottled up by Freddie Braun. No real chances came until the 75th minute when Troy Perkins made a great save to bail out David Horst who slipped. Perkins did exactly what the Timbers need him to do, save the 1 or 2 chances that might come up and give them a chance to win or tie the game.

Portland didn't make their first sub until the 83rd minute as it looked like Spencer either was playing for extra time or wanted to keep his starters from having to play a lot of minutes. The lack of subs really showed as players started to cramp and some even looked gassed. Luckily though Freddie Braun really put forth a great effort and saved a goal scoring opportunity with a great tackle on Convey in the 88th minute. The tackle ensured that Portland would get to extra time.

Extra time:

Just like in regulation goal scoring opportunities were at a premium and the only real chance came in the 119th minute as Portland failed to clear a corner completely and the ball was put back into the box for a header that gutted the fans and the team. A flurry of attack occurred in the last 3 minutes of stoppage time but a goal just wasn't in the cards.


  • Spencer Thompson has a Ferrari engine in him and boy does he put it to good use. He flew around that pitch.
  • The interplay amongst the mids was great to see but after the first 15 minutes in each half Portland seemed to forget about it.
  • Ryan Pore is much better playing in the center of the park and not on the wings
  • Freddie Braun is rough around the edges but there is a high ceiling on his potential.
  • James Marcelin can shut down the center of the park but he really needs to work on his distribution.
  • Kevin Goldthwaite plays great when he doesn't think but just plays. His first half was shaky but his second half was great
  • Great to see Horst out there again and he was a beast.
  • If our "reserves" almost beat San Jose's first team I would like to see what our first team does against them
  • Is this the same San Jose team that beat New York Redbulls last year in the play-offs?
If you got to see that game what did you guys think? Any eye-openers for you? Anyone who should get a run with the first team?

I will have John Spencer's comments up tomorrow, I have to transcribe them and don't want to stay up that late :) 

John Spencer's Comments:

Question: A little disappointed tonight after that finish?
Yeah of course. Chances for football teams are limited and obviously to give up that late goal was a killer to the guys that gave so much effort tonight.
Q: Can you talk about the decision to field 10 reserves today?
I think if you have half a brain in your head you'll understand there is a game on Friday, which is a massive game for the club. It is Major League Soccer, there are points on the table to be had. I think that's the reason why we had so many guys not starting tonight
Q: So where you conceding the game?
Not at all. I put a team out there, just like Salt Lake did on the weekend, we put a team out there we felt could win the game. I thought we started the first half really greatly, played some nice football. Never really created a lot of open chances, but I didn't think the was much difference in quality in the two teams for the period of time the game went on for.
Q: Speak to the value of the this experience to guys like Spencer Thompson, Rodrigo Lopez, and Freddie Braun?
I think it is, I don't want to be making excuses "Oh we started a reserve team." No we started a team tonight we thought could win this game. That is why we put those guys out there. And up until a minute to go in the game, turn the ball over give a corner kick, win the first header, don't get out quick enough to stop the cross and it comes back in. That is what I am saying, you lose concentration for half a second your going to get punished and that is what happened.
Q: If you guys don't get the result you want on Friday would you perfer to have start..
What if we do? It is hypothetical right now so I will probably wait to answer that question on Friday after the game. As I say it is a game tonight, it is a big game on Friday. If you asked me before the game you're going to win one game out of the two, what would you take? I would definitely take the game against Philadelphia. 3 points because in the long run of the season it means a lot more to you to get the 3 points against Philadelphia that may be the three points might stop you from getting to the playoffs. 
Q: Will you get value from the reserves as you evaluate going forward from this match?
I don't want to label them games as reserves, cause as I said to them tonight we don't have a first team and a reserve team. We have a squad if players good enough to be here. You know James Marcelin played a number of games for the first team. Division 2 last year Ryan Pore MVP of league last year. Adam Moffat has played in the league. Steve Purdy has played in the league. So it wasn't like we were shoving a lot of young guys out there. So experience, I think a lot of them have the experience playing in these games before. Just disappointed we gave the goal up so late in the game, not to get to penalties cause penalties if you take penalties in front of Timbers Army you always have a chance.