We all know March is officially over now because the Portland Timbers have won a game and what a game it was. There were some shaky moments but overall it was a very decisive win. The defense looked good at times, the offensive was able to vary between possession and the long ball and Caleb Porter's substitutions were spot on. Here are the Stumptown Footy's staff picks for Man of The Match.
Chris Gluck - Diego Chara
In as much as I had George Fochive as the MotM about 75 minutes in I must defer to Diego Chara at full time - why? Simply stated his finishing touch, that buried FC Dallas in the closing stages, coupled with superb defending throughout the full 90+ minutes, was enough to push him past Fochive. The Timbers have huge strength in the middle of the pitch and it all starts with Diego Chara and his Cheshire Cat grin... I absolutely love the way he plays football!
Kevin - Darlington Nagbe
Even when he doesn't score against them you can't help but notice all the influence he is having on the pitch. Ridiculously high pass completion rate and successfully dribbles you cuz you can't take the ball off him without fouling. Really can't wait to see if he can keep this up when Valeri returns.
Case - Darlington Nagbe
Just like I brought up when I joined up here, he lures defenders away with his pace and finesse drawing attention to himself and setting up his teammates. He did a masterful job tonight of drawing the defense to him kiting them around the field. He got an assist and was apart of many of the goal scoring opportunities in some way. I do wish he had grabbed a goal, but in time he will get one. Great showing by the future USMNT player.
Ryan - Alvas Powell
There are so many to choose from that I had a hard time but I went with a defensive player. While Powell did not have to line up against Fabian Castillo he, as well as the other defenders, limited him to 4 out of 10 successful dribbles, 14 of 21 passing and none of those were anywhere near the goal. Powell showed commitment going forward but also the determination to recover and may very well have saved a goal with a long recovery run to the opposite side of the field as well as blocking at least 3 crosses with great defensive recoveries.
Chris Rifer - Jorge Villafaña
Jorge Villafaña - Set aside the assist on Borchers's goal. How many times in the game did you notice Fabian Castillo? Not many, and due to Castillo spending most of his time on the right, that meant Villafaña largely drew the straw of tracking Dallas's most dangerous player from the run of play. Jorge was excellent in that respect on Saturday, which was a huge factor in the Timbers keeping the Burn attack quiet.
Who was your Man of The Match?