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Portland Timbers Man of the Match: Cheeky

Franz Hasslacher

The Portland Timbers got off to a good start in their preseason last night with a 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City's rag-tag group of players and trialists thanks to a pair of set piece goals from Gaston Fernandez and Michael Nanchoff.

Since the game saw two distinct groups of players take the field, for our first Man of the Match nomination of the year, we are going to have two picks, one from each group. Here are our picks, make sure to make your own in the comments below.

(No poll for this one, it can't handle two groups of 11 players each.)


1st Half: Jorge Villafana

I'm choosing Villafaña based on how impressed I was with how he linked up with Wallace. The offseason did nothing to dull their partnership on the left.

2nd Half: Michael Nanchoff

Much harder to choose. But another strong showing from the left side. Jeanderson and Nanchoff both impressed but I'll give it to Nanchoff for the beauty of a FK.

Chris R.

1st Half: Norberto Paparatto

This might be MOTM relative to expectations, but Paparatto very much looked like the player that finished 2014. If he can continue to build on this form, Paparatto may lift himself into a centerback controversy.

2nd Half: Taylor Peay

Michael Nanchoff is the easy answer for his wonderful free-kick goal, but Peay was just as solid defensively as he was in his cameos last year and looked to have progressed in the attack. Peay may well be second on the right-back depth chart right now.

Chris G.

1st Half: Gaston Fernandez

A cheeky Penalty Kick after some solid work atop the 18 yard box, stemming from a great interception by Rodney Wallace. While Gaston doesn't offer the passing vision of Diego Valeri he does offer some superb touches when in heavy traffic. It's no secret that penetration down the middle will be lacking, somewhat, with Valeri being out but Gaston gets it done - and last night he got it done.

2nd Half: Michael Nanchoff

Set pieces win games and with a disjointed/mix-match of players with little to no playing experience with each other it's good to see the Timbers, as a team working hard on both ends of the pitch, used their individual skills - collectively - to create that set-piece where the exceptional left foot of Michael Nanchoff came into play. This is a nexus year for Michael after being in this league now for four years - he needs to take advantage to leverage his skills and last night he did that!


1st Half: Rodney Wallace

His work down the left side really gave SKC fits. He also did well to track back to help Villafana. Rodney looks fully recovered from his knee injury and if he builds on what looks like a good preseason form other MLS teams should be scared, very scared.

2nd Half: Michael Nanchoff

The second half team did not look as fluid as the first half 11 but that is to be expected due to lack of chemistry. There were a lot of good outings for the second half 11 but I think Michael Nanchoff did well to help keep keep the team together. He tracked back and popped up all over the field in his effort to mimic Diego Chara and what he brings to the starting unit.

There are our picks, give us yours below.