Whitecaps 1 – 2 Timbers
Vancouver, who began the night in 5th place of the MLS Western Conference with 37 points, was looking to regain momentum in the MLS after suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Seattle Sounders a week before and three straight in MLS play.
Portland, looking to win their first game since July 3rd, was looking to salvage something out of their dismal 2012 season and claim sole possession of first place in the Cascadia cup.
Portland took the lead in the 41st minute on a goal by Darlington Nagbe. The goal was Nagbe’s third in three games and continued a streak of impressive play by the Portland midfielder. Vancouver equalized the score just five minutes later on a strike by Kenny Miller. Portland would then take the lead for good on a brilliant set piece goal by Franck Songo’o. The goal came in the 55th minute of play and just squeezed past Whitecap’s goalie, Joe Cannon.
With a victory by the Timbers over the Whitecaps, here are this week’s love ’em and hate ’em.
Goals Keep on Coming
After an impressive performance against the Whitecaps that generated two goals, the Timbers have now scored two goals in each of their past three games.
These strong offensive trends and performances have signaled a shift away from the dismal offensive play the Timbers were generating in the months of June and July.
The Timbers will need to continue their offensive prowess down the stretch of the season as they face the toughest portion of their schedule.
Out of the Cellar
With the victory the Timbers were able to move out of the last spot in the MLS Western Conference as the Rapids assumed that spot.
Though they are still out of playoff contention, the Timbers could see themselves experiencing a resurgence that may propel them into the playoff race as the end of the season draws closer every week.
Portland currently has 27 points in 26 games, placing them 10 points behind current 5th place team, the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Besides jumping out of last place in the MLS Western Conference, the Timbers also jumped into first place in the Cascadia Cup standings.
The Timbers’ victory over the Whitecaps gave them seven points in three games played in the Cascadia Cup, three more than the second-place Seattle Sounders who currently have four points in three games played.
Defending Still in Question
Though the Timbers did limit the Whitecaps to just one goal, Portland’s defending was still in question throughout the entire game as Vancouver was able to generate numerous opportunities early and late in the game that could have easily equalized the match.
Especially later on in the game, Portland needs to find a way to solidify their defense if they want to really become a well-rounded team and have any shot in resurrecting their 2012 MLS campaign.