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Six Degrees: A Night To Forget

Austin 4, Portland 1

SOCCER: JUL 01 MLS - Portland Timbers at Austin FC Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Timbers have had some losses this year that didn’t feel too bad. We played well, it was fun to watch, we almost took some points, but came up just short in the end.

Last Thursday’s 4-1 debacle in Austin was not one of those losses. It was a blowout, we looked terrible, it was no fun to watch, and it’s probably best for all of us if I just quickly summarize the game and then try to forget it.

1) The ass-kicking started in the 28th minute. Well, to be honest, the ass-kicking started from the opening whistle, but it was only in the 28th minute that Austin made it official.

Congratulations to the Austin fans on getting their first home goal. Your kits are awesome, your stadium is awesome, your lit-from-the-inside drums are awesome, and your whole crowd experience is awesome. If I had to watch the Timbers get blown out, at least it was fun watching you all have such a good night.

Quick question before we move on: can anyone tell me what Dario Zuparic is doing on this play? Did he trip and fall? Was he diving? Did he get taken out by a sniper?

2) Austin’s second goal came just four minutes later.

In some ways, this feels like bad luck, with the header going right to an attacker in open space. On the other hand, why was that guy so open? Bill Tuiloma had two guys to deal with there, and I think one of them, the goalscorer, was Pablo Bonilla’s responsibility. Bad luck mixed with bad defending equals a 2-0 deficit.

3) Just before halftime, the Timbers pulled one back.

You see what Marvin Loria did there, right? I call it The Seba. Get to the endline, pick your head up, and if you’ve got space, just walk it into the box. If you’ve still got space, keep on walking. Eventually, a teammate will be open in front of goal and you can ping a quick little dart to them. Usually, it’s Sebastian Blanco doing this, hence the name, but this time, it was Loria. Jeremy Ebobisse was the beneficiary, getting on the end of that little dart for his second goal of the year.

Thanks to this goal, halftime felt just the tiniest bit hopeful.

4) That hope did not last long. In the second half, the ass-kicking continued apace. Austin kept us on our heels, continued putting good shots on goal, and were just head and shoulders the better team all night.

Zuparic hit the deck on the first goal and he hit the deck again on this one. As a result, Austin’s player got his head on it, and put a soft, looping shot into the top left corner. Nothing Steve Clark can do except watch helplessly.

5) And they weren’t done, of course.

Ugly. The boys look defeated. Not much fight to be seen in this clip. Eryk Williamson looks like he just wanted it to be over. To be honest, so did I.

4-1 Austin, flush the toilet and move on.

6) No game this coming week, but I’ve already decided on a title for next week’s column. Six Degrees: How Worried Should I Be?

I’ll come up with some reasons why everything is horrible, the season is doomed, and we should abandon all hope, then I’ll come up with some reasons why there’s no need to panic, help is on the way, these problems are fixable, and everything will be fine. Ideally, I’ll end up with more reasons for hope than for hopelessness, but at the moment, I can’t be sure.

If you’ve got some thoughts, either positive or negative, lemme hear ‘em down in comments.