Timbers 1 – 0 Whitecaps
Redemption was the theme of Sunday for the Portland Timbers when they took on the Vancouver Whitecaps, looking to lay claim to the Cascadia Cup and come away from what was a dismal 2012 MLS season with at least some hardware.
And, after all things were said and done, the Timbers walked away with the Cascaida Cup trophy as they vanquished the Whitecaps by a score of 1-0.
Though some may still advocate that the Timbers were a middle-of-the-pack team at best, being able to take the Cascadia Cup away from the Seattle Sounders was huge for the club, especially in terms of establishing momentum for a 2013 campaign that could be promising.
Here are this week’s love ’em and hate ’em.
Cascadia Cup Victors
As mentioned before, taking home the Cascadia Cup to the Rose City will be considered one of the best moments, if not the best moment, of Portland’s 2012 season.
Despite all the heartache, loss, and suffering Portland went through this season, some of it was mitigated after the victory over the Whitecaps on Sunday.
And, to make things even better, the Timbers took the trophy away from the Seattle Sounders.
So yeah, take that, Seattle.
One for the Road
Not only did the Timbers win the Cascadia Cup on Sunday, they also won their first road game of the 2012 MLS season.
After struggling to find any momentum in road contests, the Timbers were finally able to muster up the strength to actually play a decent game away from the friendly house of Jeld-Wen.
Though it came very late in the season, this win should give Portland the confidence it needs to win at least two road games in 2013.
I know! Big deal!
Room to Grow
As with just about every game this year, the Timbers could have played A LOT better despite the winning result. Too many times did Portland look lackluster in this contest, not being able to establish a real presence during the game.
While Captain Jack did put one in the net on what was a magnificent shot, the Timbers really did not have an identity in this game.
If Portland wants to be able to contend in 2012, they will need to establish a consistence identity and presence on the field, something that will require them to become a well-rounded team.