It wasn't quite as dominating, but the Portland Timbers' win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies was decisive enough to put the Timbers over into the next stage of the tournament. While there were plenty of highlights (and a few lowlights), over all the Timbers played a mixed game where they weren't nearly as dominating as usual. But a win is a win!
Here's our Man of the Match:
Stacey: Michael Nanchoff
Nanchoff was one of the true bright spots in a win that looked a little sloppy and disjointed at times. Even if they had seen how well he's been playing for the Timbers Reserves, most people probably wouldn't have named Nanchoff as the player they expected to score against the Rowdies. But score he did, on a beautiful volley, before setting up the Timbers' second goal with free kick. He's down a ways on the depth chart because he's behind two of the teams better players, but he was the best player on the field last night.
Ryan: Michael Nanchoff
He might be third on the Timbers CAM depth chart but this was his game. He set the tone offensively and awoke the timbers from a lethargic start with an early goal. When he was on the ball he looked like he was the most dangerous player on the field and without the ball he worked hard to win the ball back. It is great to see those farther down the depth chart get meaningful minutes and capitalize on those minutes.
Geoff: Michael Nanchoff
Easy choice for me. The Portland Timbers went up early in the first half off a beautiful goal by Michael Nanchoff, one that would have easily been goal of the week material during the regular season. Then to add icing to the cake, Nanchoff returned to get an assist on the second goal. Like I said prior, it was an easy choice.
That said, even though it would be impossible for him to earn the honors, huge props to Will Johnson for spending the game with the Timbers Army.
What was your Man of the Match?