I could hear Mel Gibson’s William Wallace shouting “hooold!” though the entire match against Phoenix Rising on Saturday. The outmatched defense stood shakily, and yet they somehow withstood the onslaught of captain/owner Didier Drogba and his team. And then, in the 85th minute, subbed-in striker Augustine Williams finished one of T2’s few chances to make it 1-0.
With the victory, Timbers 2 enters their first-ever playoffs in sixth place, while Phoenix dropped to third. With the rest of the table set after Sunday’s games wrapped up, T2 must enter the Phoenix’s nest and try not to get burned. Maybe this time the cursed reincarnating bird will stay down. Both teams’ playoff future is in the balance as they meet in the quarterfinals on October 19th—the USL playoffs are all single elimination.
Besides T2 regular Jack Barmby, the only other Timbers to feature in the game were Dairon Asprilla and Marco Farfan. There are a number of other first-team players who could assist in the playoffs. The requirement is that they have played at least five regular season matches. In addition to the above three players, Bill Tuiloma, Jeremy Ebobisse, Victor Arboleda (if healthy), Kendall McIntosh and Roy Miller could all help if needed—they’re going to need all the help they can get. Think happy thoughts, Timbers Army.
What: USL Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals, Phoenix Rising FC vs Portland Timbers 2
When: Friday, October 19th, 7:30 pm PST
Where: Phoenix Rising Soccer Complex, Scottsdale, AZ
How to watch: ESPN+; YouTube for international viewers
Why: Because T2 are in the playoffs for the first time!