In a surprising level of mediocrity the Portland Timbers took the field in front of over 1500 traveling Portland Timbers fans and proceeded to give away goal after goal. Really, behind the FC Dallas away game and the Cal FC debacle, I'm not sure there was a bigger disappointment, especially with the Cascadia Cup on the line.
At this point you might be thinking then: why is there even a "Man of the Match" at all then? Well, to be honest, it's because the players who did manage to put on an effort at least deserve something to raise them above the level of talent on display last night.
Here are our picks for Man of the Match:
Geoff - Franck Songo'o
Songo'o didn't have a perfect game last night, but he was the only player to consistently try his luck at the goal and was really the only player who made Gspurning dive for the save. While the Mike Fucito - Diego Chara combination could have proven to be something beautiful, the end result was far below any of the chances that Songo'o created for the team.
Andy - Diego Chara
The Timbers did a ton of things wrong on Sunday night. Near the top of my list is the terrible passing that persisted throughout the match. Yes, the official match statistics will tell you the Timbers completed 81% of their pass attempts, but that's a number padded by the lackadaisical back and forth the midfielders had with the back line for much of the second half. Diego Chara seemed to have as little patience for it as Timbers fans did, and he responded by constantly making runs up the pitch and looking for the passes that might help put the ball in the back of the net. He was very much alone in that.
Stacey - Diego Chara
He was one of the only Timbers who looked like he cared about this game and actually showed it with some productive soccer. He broke up several Seattle counterattacks and tried to spring a few of his own. Unfortunately, his teammates did nothing with those opportunities.
Ryan - Bright Dike
He, along with Chara and maybe David Horst, looked like they understood the enormity of the game and were ready for it. He challenged for every ball and made the other team hesitant to go after a ball he was going after. This created a few chances through his individual effort and if any of his teammates had helped him they may have scored. Dike should come with a disclaimer "may break you if you come close" or something like that.
There are our picks for Man of the Match, but what are yours? Be sure to cast your vote and let us know why in the comments.