The Portland Timbers may have been pegged back one late in the first half of last night's win over Guyana's Alpha United in CONCACAF Champions League play, but the team put in a strong second half and widened the gap for a 4-1 victory. There was no multiple goal scorer or midfield maestro on the night to be the clear-cut Man of the Match pick, instead the Timbers saw a number of exciting performances that came together to secure the victory.
Michael: Michael Nanchoff
Other guys scored the goals and Kalif Alhassan certainly made a nice case with his assists, but I enjoyed watched Nanchoff cutting onto his left foot and hustling all over the field. Maybe he's not the man of the match but he was the most fun to watch.
Stacey: Kalif Alhassan
On a sketchy field, far from home, with good old CONCACAF officiating, it felt like all sorts of unhappy things could happen if the Timbers didn't take control of the game quickly. With two first-half assists Alhassan helped his team do just that. Also, I think his pass to Zakuani to put the Timbers on their way to a 4-1 win was a particularly wonderful ball, but really who could tell on that terrible stream?
Kelly: Kalif Alhassan
I had visions of Puerto Rico dancing through my head watching Kalif juke and jive his way around that so-called "pitch."
Will: Alvas Powell
How often does a fullback put in a shift with a goal and an assists? Granted, Powell was pushed up into the midfield late in the game, but he showed why the Timbers have kept him around for the last year despite his, and the team's, struggles. Even more importantly, he showed a marked improvement in his crossing, positioning, and decision making from the last time he appeared in a Timbers kit, keeping the right wing locked down while still getting forward to help in the attack.
Also worth mentioning: Rauwshan McKenzie had the sort of quiet game that you want out of a centerback. He did not do much distribution out of the back, but he was there to clean up just about everything that got into his area.
There are our picks for the Man of the Match, but what are yours? Vote in the poll and let us know why in the comments below.