In their final game of the regular season, the Portland Timbers did everything they could to break into the playoffs. Still, finishing the season with three more wins than losses and a plus nine goal differential was not enough as the Vancouver Whitecaps managed to hold onto the final playoff spot in the West.
The Timbers needed a good performance from all across the field to beat FC Dallas in Frisco, where the previous eight opponents had left without a single point, and a good performance was what they got. The two goals came from some fantastic attacking play, while the Timbers got their seventh shutout of the season thanks to a strong defensive effort and some key saves.
Among the quality performances it is hard to pick out one player who stood above the rest, but we managed to do so. Here are our picks for the Timbers Man of the Match; feel free to share yours in the comments and vote in the poll below.
Kelly: Darlington Nagbe
What the hell, I'll go with Nagbe. He faded a bit late in the match, but was very aggressive early on. Oh ya, and he scored a goal. Apparently it was his first of the season.
Chris: Darlington Nagbe
Did all the good things he's done all year and then did the one thing he hasn't done all year. After being denied ludicrously by Nick Rimando, Nagbe thoroughly deserved that massive deflection.
Will: Diego Chara
Look, Chara was pretty good and deserves to be recognized, but who am I kidding. It was Darlington Nagbe. He looked like the best possible Nagbe out there in the first half, twisting up the Dallas defender into knots as the Timbers looked for the opener, then providing it himself when the moment arose.
Ryan: Alvas Powell
His defense was amazing against a type player who usually is a thorn in Portland's side. One of his defensive stops lead to the possession that lead to the second and deciding goal. His offensive contributions were few and far between but that is not what was needed on this night.
There are our picks for the final Man of the Match of 2014. Who do you think deserves the honors?