Timbers Resilient on Road
A broken face, an 89-minute deficit to the New England Revolution and a bottom-half conference standing record three games in. Given all of that, the Portland Timbers still could have had a worse week despite Saturday’s 1-0 loss in Foxborough, Mass.
Portland 0, New England 1
Saturday, March 24, 2012 4:00 PM Location – Gillette Stadium
Official – Hilario Grajeda
Attendance – 12925
I am generally not a big fan of moral victories, but Portland fans should be encouraged by how their team seemed to shake off Saer Sene’s goal which came 28 seconds into the game courtesy of a cross by Chris Tierney. The team could have licked their wounds for the rest of the day and given up three or four goals and gotten blown out, instead the Timbers fought back and just couldn’t get the breaks needed to come away with a tie.
There are an abundance of reasons that the Timbers Army should be happy despite their loss.
Time of Possession & Shots
The Timbers responded to Sene’s goal by controlling the tempo of the match and exhibiting aggressiveness on offense. The Timbers led possession 57 percent to 43 percent, and looked to score on the offensive of end by firing off 13 shot attempts (albeit only three were on goal) compared to New England’s nine.
Franck Songo’o Return
Franck Songo’o, the midfielder from Cameroon, saw his first MLS action of the season when he joined the match in the 60th minute by replacing Eric Alexander. Despite failing to tie the match, Songo’o was responsible for two of the three Timbers’ shots on goal and was able to complete 80 percent of his passes (16 of 20).
You could look at his play one of two ways. The negative is that one could argue that he could not have headed the ball into the Willamette River if he were standing on the Fremont Bridge. The other viewpoint is that his performance was an offesnively aggressive one that just did not produce breaks, which is exactly Boyd’s looked.
The Scottish forward was making runs evidenced by four headers, but none prioduced a threat on the Revolution’s keeper. It is unreasonable for fans to believe that his aggressiveness will go unrewarded in future matches.
Hayner Mosquera’s Dome
The Columbian defender thanked Timbers fans via Twitter for their support after the Timbers found out that he suffered a small orbital fracture.
The good news is that the 25 year-old has not suffered any post-concussion symptoms associated with the fracture, crucial information that could speed up the amount of time that Mosquera is sidelined.
For the sake of keeping up the optimism, there is not a need to touch on individual inconsistency, given that the Timbers have only competed in three MLS matches. That said, there is a general losing theme away from Jeld-Wen Field that appears to have carried from last season. I will hate this all year if these woes continue.
Winless Road Swings
Any time a team can go on the road and at least come away with a point via a tie, the feat should be considered a victory. That said, the Timbers went 2-9-6 on the road last year, scoring 12 points in 17 matches.
Good teams separate themselves from mediocre and bad teams by lowering the loss column.
A record of 0-1-1 won’t cut it each time out if the Timbers hope to make the playoffs. Road performances will be crucial to watch as the season progresses.
The team has four points (1-1-1) and currently sits sixth in the MLS Western Conference. After their two recent matches on the road, they will have their next two matches at Jeld-Wen Field when Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA pay visits on March 31 and April 7, respectively.
Full Match Highlights