The old saying may be that good teams win even when they don't play well, but in this one the Portland Timbers won when neither team played particularly well. With two talented teams canceling each other out, it was a struggle for anyone to stand out.
Ryan - Darlington Nagbe
Even though he did not have an assist or a goal Darlington Nagbe did a lot of the little things to help Portland earn a much needed three points. On numerous occasions he was the outlet to relieve the pressure and his skills allowed him to keep the ball even though he was being pressured by a Colorado player. He also tracked back often to dispossess an attacker and during the always nerve wracking set pieces he had quite a few clearances.
Stacey - Michael Harrington
Harrington has been praised for his consistency all season, and lately it feels like he's being consistent at a better level of play. He helped the Timbers earn a clean sheet last night with solid defending, particularly while Colorado was trying to transition into attack and met pressure from Harrington high up the field. He nearly had an assist too--his cross to Urruti was so close to being on frame that it needed only the slightest redirection. The forward should have been able to do more with that, but it was a really good performance from Harrington on both sides of the ball last night.
Michael - Rodney Wallace
Active offensively, Wallace was threatening Colorado's flank throughout. His high pressure led to the game's only goal and dropping back into a more defensive role late in the game, helped corral substitute Deshorn Brown over the final twenty minutes. Darlington Nagbe or Diego Valeri will surely win this award this week, but Wallace deserves credit for a much better performance. He also produced two of the better attacking chances for Portland, with his skimming header and rocket of a shot in the second half.
Will - Diego Valeri
Valeri's chip was a thing of beauty, the precise moment of brilliance that the Timbers needed to overcome a hard charging Rapids. Regardless of the Timbers lack of consistent connection, Valeri's quality continued to shine through, particularly in the second half as things started to turn around. That chip though. Wow.
There are our picks, but what are yours? Vote in the poll below and let us know why in the comments.