San Jose 1 – 1 Portland
After all that happened this season for the Timbers, Portland finished the season strong with a draw against San Jose.
Despite surrendering a record-tying goal to do-it-all player Chris Wondolowski, the Timbers proved to be resilient the rest of the afternoon as they crawled back into the game on a 67th minute goal by Bright Dike. While Portland did not have the season it anticipated, their past two games were momentous in giving the city of Portland and its soccer team something to be proud about in 2012.
With all that said, here are this week’s love ’em and hate ’em from Portland’s draw against the San Jose Earthquakes
While the Timbers did give up an early goal to the Earthquakes and Wondolowski, Portland’s defense looked great in their last appearance of 2012.
Limiting the chances San Jose had on goal all night gave Portland’s offense more than enough room to develop and find a way to get back into the game. David Horst was once again very impressive as he shut down just about any San Jose advancement.
Though they had been contested at times during the season, the Timbers’ defense was very impressive on Saturday and should have a lot to build off of in 2013.
As I have mentioned in the past, Portland was horrendous at times during the 2012 MLS Season. A terrible June, July, and August paved the way for the Timbers becoming the laughing stock of the MLS despite vaunting themselves as one of the premier clubs in the league.
While they are still not positioned to enter the playoffs for their second straight season, the Timbers finished the season strong despite all that had gone wrong. Not only did Portland pick up the Cascadia Cup and their first road win against Vancouver last week, the Timbers played impressively against the top team in the MLS en route to a draw in their final game of 2012.
On the Outside Looking In
Though the Timbers did end their season on a positive note, they are still on the outside looking in when it comes to the MLS Playoffs.
Sure, Portland may be in just their second MLS Season, but when you’re playing in the shadow of Seattle, a rival and team that has made it into the MLS Playoffs in all of their seasons, making the playoffs becomes a very important note when talking about northwest bragging rights.
Despite all that Portland tried to erase with two late impressive efforts, they are still one of the bottom teams in the MLS this season and have a lot of work to do before they can be considered to be one of the elite programs in the United States.