Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Somewhere along the line, Thanksgiving became my favorite holiday. I love having a day to just sit down with family and friends and appreciate each other's company -- and plenty of food.
Now, not everybody feels the same way about Thanksgiving; maybe fireworks on the 4th of July is more your cup of tea, or Groundhog Day if you just can't stand the winter, or maybe you are Canadian so none of this really applies.
Regardless, if you are here, you are probably pretty thankful for the Portland Timbers, so here are five of the many moments from the team this year that I am most thankful for. Check them out and feel free to share yours in the comments below.
1. Three in a Row
Coming into the 2015 season, the Portland Timbers had never won three regular season matches in a row. After a slow start from the team that had worrying echoes of 2014 for many people, the Timbers finally started to put things together in late May, finally notching a pair of wins and setting themselves up for a chance to finally get three in a row. Despite plenty of hand-wringing coming into the match, the Timbers took care of business, dispatching the New England Revolution 2-0.
Honorable Mention: The Timbers' fourth win in a row.
2. Dairon Asprilla's Golazo
One of the best goals ever scored by a Timber at Providence Park and certainly the best scored this year, it just makes it all the better that Asprilla's swerving rocket against FC Dallas would be the eventual game-winner in the first leg of the Western Conference Finals.
Honorable Mention: The Timbers' first 3-1 win over FC Dallas of the year.
3. The Seattle Meltdown
Beyond the schadenfreude of it all, the Timbers' 3-1 US Open Cup win over the Seattle Sounders was an epic match. There were goals, there were red card, there was the Sounders' mid-match uniform change, and ultimately there was Clint Dempsey, taking the referee's notebook and tearing it up like a petulant child. What a game.
Honorable Mention: Beating the Sounders 4-1 just two weeks later.
4. Cup Bound and Down
We can all agree that the fans in the stands bring it every game. And we can all agree that the Timbers Army brings it the hardest. I think we can also agree that this tifo, unfurled before the match against Sporting Kansas City with only half a week since the final match of the season to prepare, is the very epitome of bringing it.
Honorable Mention: All of the community involvement from the team and the Timbers Army.
5. The Two Post Miracle
Sporting Kansas City were penalty kick veterans: they had won the US Open Cup on penalties just a month previous; so when it came down to the wire against SKC, this was the outcome that everyone dreaded. Then something crazy happened. Saad Abdul-Salaam stepped up for what could have been the game winner for SKC, but instead the ball just wouldn't go in the net. His shot hit the right post, skipped across the goal line, hit the left post, and rolled away, back out onto the pitch without ever crossing the line. The Timbers were inches away from dropping out of the playoffs, but instead they were given a whole new lease on life; one that Adam Kwarasey seized.
Honorable Mention: Urruti's last second volley to tie the match against Sporting Kansas City.
Here is to all of these and to many more to come! Have a great Thanksgiving!