The Portland Timbers looked like a force to be reckoned with as they beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 in a game that both teams needed to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Timbers attack continued the breakneck pace that they have somehow sustained all season, bringing the team to 52 goals scored this year, second in the league. The defense was also on top of their game, a much more rare sight in 2014, as the Timbers picked up their fourth shutout of the year.
Looking at the Timbers, there were a number of fantastic performances, ranging from the always-on excellence of Diego Valeri, to the single-striker play of Fanendo Adi, to the ever-present Diego Chara. This was not an easy choice to make, but we managed to make up our minds. Check out the picks below and share your own in the poll and comments at the bottom of the page.
Michael: Diego Valeri
Sorry if you've heard it before, but Valeri is the Timbers' best player. The reason we know that is he puts in performances like today. Was it his best? No. But was it better than everyone else, including the superb Fanendo Adi? Yes.
Ryan: Diego Chara
Diego Valeri is by far the best offensive weapon the Timbers have and he makes some memorable plays but I think Diego Chara was the reason Portland was able to earn the full three points. In the first half when Portland got off to a shaky defensive start he had 8 recoveries, 2 interceptions, 3 tackles to break up Vancouver attacks. Without him shielding the usually porous defense Portland might have been playing catch up yet again.
Stacey: Diego Valeri
Like Michael, I apologize, because I'm sure my recent MOTM picks have seemed a little repetitive (and redundant). The Timbers had a lot of players who performed exceptionally well against the Whitecaps-Adi, Ridgewell, and Chara all stood out to me-but there's just no one else who's been as absurdly, stupidly awesome as Diego Valeri.
Kevin: Diego Valeri
I wanted to be different. I wanted to choose Adi for his hold up work and superb play but even after writing something up there was just nothing better than Valeri being himself out there today. A goal, an assist, best player on the field... just another day in the office for him.
Will: Jorge Villafana
Diego Valeri was magnificent; Diego Chara was everywhere; Fanendo Adi's hold up play and two goals were out of this world; but it was Villafana's quietly competent performance at left back, and the fantastically delivered cross right to the foot of Valeri for the opening tally, that got the Timbers out of the increasingly desperate search for the opening goal and into the dominent mode of soccer that they should have been playing all year. Without that cross, do the Timbers eventually crumble to a quick counter attack, something we have seen over and over in 2014? Thankfully, we will never know.
There are our picks, now make sure to share yours below.