With the MLS Cup on its way home to Portland, let’s re-live the glory of Sunday afternoon with a mid-flight set of links.
Moving on from self-promotion, Jeff Carlisle of ESPN pegs the Timbers’ success to Caleb Porter’s evolution as a coach and tracks the gaffer’s growth back to his experience with the U.S. U-23s. Earlier, Carlisle gave his three thoughts on the game and particularly praised the Timbers’ road form.
Over at the MLS website, Matthew Doyle did his usual tactical deep dive and praised the Timbers’ ability to manage the game states in MLS Cup. Meanwhile at the state-run media, Sam Stejskal gives his player ratings and reserves the highest praise for Jorge Villafana.
Also on the Jorge Villafana Bandwagon? Goal’s Ives Galarcep, who featured Villafana before MLS Cup and called him Man of the Match afterward. Ives’s praise wasn’t limited to Villafana, however, as he also credited the Timbers’ faith in Porter during tough times for their triumph on Sunday.
Over at Sports Illustrated, Grant Wahl highlighted Darlington Nagbe and Nat Borchers as the catalysts of the Timbers' improbable run to the title. Meanwhile, Wahl’s Planet Futbol colleague, Brian Straus, opined the Timbers created their own kind of luck on the road to MLS Cup.
Closer to home, The Oregonian’s Jamie Goldberg produced a typically great game story but, more importantly, conducted unquestionably the greatest locker-room interview in club history. And, with the Timbers hitting the big time, The O’s John Canzano says the Timbers set the standard for professional sports organizations in the Rose City right now.
And with that the Timbers - and MLS Cup - have landed in Portland.
Onward, Rose City.