Anytime the Portland Timbers play against the LA Galaxy at Providence Park there always seems to be some late game drama. This game was no different with two goals scored in the final 10 minutes of play. The Timbers had what felt like the game winning goal only to give up a heart breaker in extra time to Alan Gordon. There were some good performances put in by some Timbers and here are the picks for Man of The Match by the Stumptown Footy resident "experts".
Chris Gluck - Darlington Nagbe
His game wasn't just about one or two sublime touches tonight but it is worth mentioning his superb and sublime touch that freed Rodney Wallace through the much abused Dan Gargan. Picture perfick! And while his effectiveness was reduced somewhat when Gaston Fernandez came on - his form and ability to penetrate and create returned as Maxi Urutti made his entrance. And after some frustrating minutes trying to defend the Timbers did edge ahead again as Nagbe got free in the lower right - the follow on pass to Adi looked to cinch the game... sadly it didn't. For me I'm convinced he's come into his own early on - and his devastating tackle halfway through the 2nd half has really etched in stone his maturity and ability to play both sides of the ball.
Will Conwell - Darlington Nagbe
Like everyone in the Timbers' lineup yesterday, Nagbe had his struggles against the Galaxy, particularly in the second half as the team struggled to break out of their defensive zone. Still, when the Timbers were on and looking like the better team it was because of Nagbe's movement and distribution driving the attack all over the pitch. A pair of assists (even if it only reads one on the stat sheet) from Nagbe is just what the Timbers need in the absence of Diego Valeri and just what could propel them back into the thick of the playoff hunt once The Maestro returns.
Kevin McCamish - Darlington Nagbe
I'm sure everyone will pick Nagbe and for good reason. So I am too. Without him Adi doesn't get two goals. Because Nagbe does special things. His talent is undeniable. But my question is can he produce more moments of magic per game? Can he be more consistent with those magical moments? Nagbe is key to this team, he is sooo good, but he could be even better.
Chris Rifer -
Darlington Nagbe Liam Ridgewell
Okay, so it was actually Darlington Nagbe. But pretty much everybody else picked him and that's boring. The defense didn't have its best day, but Ridgewell remained very solid in back. More important, however, Ridgewell's pinpoint distribution has been vital to the Timbers' shift to a more direct and counter-attacking style. Don't believe me? Watch the ball he put on a dime for Nagbe just before the Timbers' second goal. Are there five other centerbacks in MLS who can hit that pass?
Case Harts - Darlington Nagbe
For one reason, and one reason alone. The coolest pass and goal set up of week 2. His back heel touch in the midfield to Wallace on the counter was a thing of beauty. No one this week in any team has that sneaky of a pass that left the opponent bewildered as Wallace blasted towards the box. Nagbe stepped up as the force in midfield this game and showed his class. Overall a great performance when the league considered us dogs in this match up.
Graham Corking - Darlington Nagbe
Nagbe for sure. Played a big part in both goals and was very lively in the first half. That flick was absolutely filthy.
Thought Chara put a shift in as well, plenty of niggling tackles and interceptions.
Ryan Gates - Fanendo Adi
Nagbe deserves a ton of credit for being an offensive force out there but Adi is the one who actually put the ball in the back of the net. He was a beast against LA's backline and did a better job with his passing. What it also tells us is that no one should start Adi for the next 2 games because he only scores in braces and averages .5 goals per game.