The Portland Timbers rallied well after going down a man against the Columbus Crew yesterday, fighting to a standstill. Unfortunately, that effort only came after the team had already gone down by a goal in the 6'. The Timbers controlled possession for much of the game and created several chances that went wanting in the second half, but never really looked like a good bet to score.
Here are our Man of the Match picks, but what are yours? Let us know in the comments and be sure to vote in the poll below.
Ryan: Donovan Ricketts
Donovan Ricketts did everything he needed to help Portland earn a result. His bear like swipe of the ball to get over the net will be at minimum a nominee for save of the week. The fact that he guessed right on the PK may have forced the ball wide of the goal but that is hard to determine, although I feel confident that if the PK shot was on frame to that side he would have stopped it. Futty deserves honorable mention for coming into a tough situation and helping preserve the scoreline.
Stacey: Futty Danso
Futty came into a pretty tough situation and had a great game. He made keeping up with the speedy Dominic Oduro look relatively easy and stepped up once or twice to block a Crew shot just in time. He even managed to keep making great defensive plays when he'd basically been moved up to forward in an attempt to salvage a point.
Andy: Futty Danso
A lot of Timbers stepped up after the unfortunate red card, but few were quite as driven as Futty. He and Andrew Jean-Baptiste dealt well with the challenge of covering the quick Dominic Oduro, holding him to just two off-target shots for the remainder of the match. AJB would be up there in my MOTM calculus, but I can't help but love Futty's hand of god attempt in the waning minutes of the match.
Will: Andrew Jean-Baptiste
While his senior partner was busy getting bounced form the game, AJB was quietly putting together yet another solid outing. My first instinct was to select Futty but a quick look at the game's stats reveal that AJB was instrumental in holding things together. Even in the final minutes of the game as he was left as the team's lone back, AJB managed to keep things locked down. Kudos also to Darlington Nagbe, who was by far the Timbers best player outside the back line.
There are our picks, but what are yours? Vote in the poll below and let us know why in the comments.