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Portland Timbers Man of the Match: Finally First

The Portland Timbers stepped into a tie for first place flowing their 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids, but who stood out as the Timbers climbed their way to the top of the MLS standings?

Stacey Neve

With the Portland Timbers coming away from yesterday's game against the Colorado Rapids as 3-0 winners, there were plenty of excellent performances to draw the plaudits. So what was more impressive yesterday? The continued home shutout streak that has now extended to 569 minutes? The three goal haul that put the Timbers on top of the league in scoring? Or how about three assists by one returning player?

Here are our picks. Make sure to share yours in the comments and vote in our Man of the Match poll.

Will: Will Johnson

The Timbers' captain had a heck of a game yesterday. He may have made the highlight reel for his fantastic volleyed finish at the end of the first half, but it was his effort and guile that made him my Man of the Match. It was Will's quick free kick to unlock the Colorado defense for the first time that got the Timbers into the game in the eleventh minute and his lung-busting runs to hold possession down the pitch kept the team in control until the final whistle.

Stacey: Rodney Wallace

Thankfully Wallace didn't lose any sharpness in all that time he spent not playing for Costa Rica (seriously, what is wrong with you, Costa Rica?) and he was one of the main drivers of the Timbers attack against Colorado. The hat trick of assists would have been impressive enough, but on top of the sheer number, each one was so perfect--a flawlessly weighted cross to Piquionne, a casual touch with the outside of his foot right into Will Johnson's path, and a simple square ball to Ryan Johnson. It's so good to have you back Rodney.

Geoff: Rodney Wallace

It's hard to argue with three assists. Yeah, Will Johnson scored a phenomenal goal, Frederic Piquionne got the 100th Timbers goal and Ryan Johnson got the game ending goal. All of those things were great, but they were essentially coming off of one man: Wallace. I don't know what Costa Rica didn't use him for their World Cup Qualifiers (they seem to be doing alright on their own) but I'm kind of happy for it. Wallace came into the game fit, rested and ready to show why he's one of the best left wingers in MLS. I'm still amazed he was left off the MLS All Star voting.

Ryan: Frederic Piquionne

It is hard to not pick Rodney Wallace but I felt Piquionne had a greater influence on the game for a longer period of time. Wallace had some moments of brilliance intermixed with some rust, due to his lack of use by Costa Rica. Piq also scored his first goal and had an assist and was a constant threat in the air. On defensive set pieces his name was frequently used in conjuction with the word "cleared". When he was subbed off Portland struggled to win the first ball into the box on defensive set pieces. ;

There are our picks, but what are yours? Vote in the poll below and let us know why in the comments.