After taking just two points from five straight games against the league's worst teams, the Portland Timbers are about to face one of the MLS' best. Oi.
Any discussion of the New York Red Bulls, from Portland's perspective, must start with Kenny Cooper. His 13 goals in 2012 have been a sore spot for Timbers fans, mainly because of how much more that number is than his 2011 total.
After opening the season on an unbelievable tear -- seven goals in six matches -- he's cooled down somewhat, but he's still on pace to more than double the total he racked up for the Portland Timbers.
Some competing theories have been tossed about concerning the reason behind his increased production. Some have said it's all Thierry Henry, since he's been on the field for ten of Cooper's goals and has assisted five of them. Another theory is that the coaching and playing style in New York is a better fit for Cooper's playing style. Or maybe Kenny Cooper just plain got better at soccer, as mlssoccer.com's Matthew Doyle suggested earlier this season.
Or any combination of the above. What do you think?