After failing to shut out their opponents in their last fifteen league matches, a run that started in May, last night the Timbers finally were able to keep their opponents off the board in a herculean defensive effort. The Timbers didn't quite click on the offensive end of things but the team were able to put together several moments of magic in the first half that let them keep the pressure on Colorado and put one in the back of the net.
While most of our recent choices for the Man of the Match have been on the attacking side of things (Nagbe, Nagbe, Nagbe for me), this time around the Stumptown Footy editors' picks were decidedly defensive. The Timbers didn't make these picks easy with the number of strong efforts put in on the night.
Andy - Hanyer Mosquera
Mosco channeled his inner Gandalf last night, bellowing "You shall not pass!" at the Colorado attack. While David Horst took care of the powerful but lumbering Conor Casey, Mosquera kept the rest of the Rapids offense at bay, getting his head in the way of numerous crosses, and helping the back line as a whole play as a unit. The Timbers needed that kind of defensive tenacity on a night when the offense wasn't clicking as well as it has been of late.
Check out the rest of our Man of the Match picks and vote on your own after the jump.
Will - Jack Jewsbury
The glue that holds the defense together, Captain Jack was all over the pitch last night, breaking up plays and winning headers in the midfield. More importantly, he was calm and collected in possession, moving the ball around the pitch efficiently. Even in the second half when everyone else seemed to be running around little thought to defensive shape, most of the team's possession could be linked back to the play of Jewsbury.
Honorable mentions for me would be Mosquera, Darlington Nagbe, and Sal Zizzo.
Ryan - Hanyer Mosquera and David Horst
I have a really hard time giving the nod to one over the other as they worked in tandem to cover two forwards who previously had given Portland problems. This game was by far the best game they played together and it looked like the communicated well, rotated on Casey in the first half well and won almost every single ball that was played into the box. Portland sorely needed a shutout and a good defensive showing from the two CBs to build confidence for the road game on Wednesday.
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.