Our (first ever) unanimous Man of the Match for Saturday's come from behind draw against the Colorado Rapids, Will Johnson showed strongly on both sides of the ball, scoring both Timbers goals and putting in his fair share of tackles as well. In a game that saw the Timbers struggle to execute their preferred style of play, the mentality that Johnson brought to the midfield was a large part of the team's fight back to earn a point.
Speaking after practice today, Johnson was happy to receive the award but, true to his competitive nature, was quick to point out he would rather have two more points.
I would have traded that for three points. I think in the big picture it's not a huge thing. I am more concerned about winning with this team and us making steps forward, but at the same time it is always nice to pick up little honors along the way.
Caleb Porter was also available and praised the team captain after practice for his performance against the Rapids, citing Johnson's work rate and ability to win balls as deciding factors in the match.
Johnson is the second Timbers player to win the award after Kalif Alhassan took home the honor in the first week of the 2012 season.
The Timbers' press release:
TIMBERS' WILL JOHNSON NAMED MLS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Captain's brace helped Portland overcome two-goal deficit on Saturday
PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Timbers midfielder and team captain Will Johnson was named Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week 5 of the 2013 MLS season, it was announced today.
Johnson, who was acquired on Dec. 3, 2012, in a trade with Real Salt Lake, scored a brace to help the Timbers overcome a two-goal deficit on Saturday in a 2-2 draw against Colorado at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. He becomes the second MLS Timbers player to win NASR's player of the week honor.
Trailing 2-0 in the 55th minute, Johnson made a well-timed run into the middle of the area and connected on a cross from forward Ryan Johnson. The midfielder directed a header inside the left post to trim Colorado's lead to a goal. Will Johnson helped the Timbers complete the comeback in the 71st minute when defender David Horst earned a penalty kick after suffering a foul in the box. The Canadian international successfully placed the penalty kick into the top left corner, tying the match and becoming the fifth Timbers player since 2011 to record two goals in a game.
Since joining the Timbers for the 2013 season, Johnson has started and played 90 minutes in each of Portland's first four games and leads the club in goals (2) and points (5).
The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership information can be found at www.soccerreporters.com.
The Timbers return home to take on Houston on Saturday, April 6, in the first of back-to-back home games at JELD-WEN Field; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) and the game will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS.