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Portland Timbers Postscript: Crossing Guards

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The Timbers booted 25 crosses into the mixer on Saturday but failed to convert any of them into goals, as they lost 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

By the Numbers

13.1

Portland Timbers' average shots per match entering Saturday's match

20

Timbers' shot total against San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday

6

Darlington Nagbe's current streak of games without a foul committed

1

Number of matches this year in which Nagbe committed a foul but did not score
(March 9 vs Montreal)

-1

My age the last time the Quakes beat the Timbers in the Bay Area
(courtesy of Mike Donovan)

Moment of the Match

The last five minutes of the first half featured a half dozen of the best scoring opportunities the Timbers created on Saturday. While the most spectacular was certainly Will Johnson's volley of Diego Valeri's long flick, the most promising chance was probably created by Michael Harrington's long cross from the left flank.

With the ball in the center circle, Diego Valeri continued a quick move up the field, passing to Ryan Johnson. Johnson passed square to the left wing before starting a run towards the Earthquakes' goal. Harrington, racing up the left wing, one-timed a superb cross that landed almost perfectly at Ryan Johnson's feet -- almost perfect only because Jon Busch was barely able to charge forward and deflect the ball out of danger before getting kicked in the side by his own teammate.

That cross was one of 25 for the Timbers on the night, according to mlssoccer.com's official statistics.

Interestingly, the last time the Timbers had at least 25 crosses in a game was way back on May 12, in their 3-0 win against Chivas USA. They didn't score on any of those crosses that day either, and indeed the Timbers have generally been pretty lousy at converting crosses from the wings this year, especially when Frederic Piquionne is not on the pitch.

Other teams, including the Earthquakes, have figured that out.

Bookings, Suspensions, Injuries

The Timbers escaped San Jose without a booking -- a narrow escape for Ben Zemanski in particular, as he could very easily have received a yellow for a wild challenge late in the first half. As it is, though, Z-man has successfully ridden out his three-matches of disciplinary purgatory and been granted the indulgence of another suspension-free yellow card. He must be following Don Garber on Twitter or something.

No new injuries to report at this time, and Timbers fans are certainly hoping for the return of a healthy Diego Chara to return for this weekend's Cascadia Cup match against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Around the League

Vancouver Whitecaps 0:1 Philadelphia Union

In the 8th minute Jun Marques Davidson grabbed his head in apparent pain after a foul by Keon Daniel, and then used it to drill the latter in the back in full view of Baldomero Toledo. Instant red card. Too bad we won't get to see him this weekend. The Union went on to beat the shorthanded Caps 1-0.

Seattle Sounders 2:1 Chivas USA

A Benny-Hill-esque series of defensive mishaps gave Chivas an early lead, but Seattle came back to win it. Because we're talking about Chivas here.

By the way, the last time the Timbers lost on the same day the Sounders won was October 7, 2012. They were playing each other that day.

New York Red Bulls 4:3 Real Salt Lake

Another week, another stoppage time loss for the Salt Lakers. After falling behind early on a set-piece and a PK, Alvaro Saborio scored a hat trick (including a PK) and seemed to put the game away. But another NY PK and Dax McCarty's winner dealt a setback to the Western Conference leaders, who will be very happy to have Nick Rimando back next week.