Joining Jeremy as a “Quick Shots” contributor, C. I. DeMann presents his first “Six Degrees” look back at the game. Enjoy.
1. I honestly think this might have been Portland’s worst-looking game of the season. Worse even than the loss to Montreal. Perhaps it was the altitude, perhaps it was the wind, perhaps it the was the pre-game locker room margaritas, but I felt Colorado was the better team for most of the game. Sure, we were better in the second half, but not to the same degree as we were against NY, for example. Missed passes, bad clearances, poor communication, we got to see the whole spectrum of weak soccer.
2. All that being said, we came away with a point, didn’t we? In fact, we’re undefeated on the road this year, so maybe we should think some happy thoughts about that. Even better, for the first time in our MLS history, we gave up less than 3 goals to the Rapids. Not too shabby, considering how bad we looked. In fact, forget all that stuff from point #1. Let’s just think happy thoughts, what do you say?
3. Is it just me, or is Diego Valeri looking a little lost these days? He had a few nice almost-passes yesterday, but for much of the game, I barely knew he was on the field. Now, it’s very possible I’m just expecting too much from him. After his performance in the pre-season and then against NY in the first game, I was fully expecting him to be the league MVP, to take Portland to a 30-win season, and then to cure cancer and fart candy canes. But since then? I’d be happy with just the candy canes. Come on, Diego! We know there’s magic in those feet of yours! Let’s see it! We believe! We believe!
4. Man, I wish I knew what to say about Jack Jewsbury. Is he helping us or hurting us? On the plus side, when he starts, we’re undefeated on the road, and that is no small thing. On the negative side, the offense seems pretty dead, doesn’t it? And it’s not like his presence is stopping those early-game mistakes. We nearly gave up a 4th minute goal yesterday. Two of them! I’ve heard people suggest dropping Chara back into Jack’s spot and bringing in Kalif or Piquionne. There’s also talk about Jack only starting on the road, when maybe we could use a little help on D. Personally, I don’t know. Is the offense dead because of Jack or because both games have been on the road?
5. You want more complicated questions that I can’t answer? Let’s talk about our CBs. When I saw Horst in the starting XI, I almost swallowed my teeth, thinking Porter had decided to bench Silvestre. Turns out it was just an injury substitution, but it was still a shock, not just for me, but for the entire Timbers defense. Can we blame those 4th minute almost-goals on everyone getting to know each other? Personally, I blame the pre-game margaritas. Regardless, our defense has been an adventure all season and, personally, I’m sick of it. I want a nice, boring, we-know-what-to-expect defense. Is that so much to ask? And now I will spend the rest of the week lighting candles for Mikael Silvestre’s gimpy abductor. Who starts next to him? I say we let Horst and Beast fight it out, professional wrestling style. Put a cage around the ring. Last man standing gets the start next weekend. And this is why I’m not coaching the Timbers.
6. Negative, negative, negative. Do I have anything good to say about our beloved Timbers? You bet I do! New coach, new players, new playing style. This is essentially an expansion team. And how are we doing? A hell of a lot better than anyone has a right to expect. We’ve lost one game, people, and it’s to the best team in the league. Twice we’ve gone on the road and twice we’ve broken the other team’s heart. Would we have done that last year? Absolutely not. And best of all, we’ve got TONS of heart. Nobody on this team gives up. Nobody. And that definitely wasn’t the case last year. Yes, I’ve got complaints about yesterday’s game. Yes, I’ve got complaints about the back line. Yes, I’ve got complaints about the lack of candy canes produced by Diego Valeri’s farts. But all of that is secondary to my feeling that this team will be in every game this year. They are a team nobody will want to play. They will frustrate us, then they’ll come back and thrill us. And, most of all, they will be a team we’ll be proud to support.