Thorns FC: Second Intermission

USWNT Swe Rio

In the words of MayaTye over at Stumptown Footy…gee, that really worked well, didn’t it..?

The good news is that the Thorns will be getting all of their internationals back except for Christine Sinclair (who plays for bronze this coming Friday).  The…well, I won’t pretend that it’s “bad news”.  For me, anyway.

And you know what that is.

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Thorns FC: Hangin’ in there…

Last Friday, after two straight losses and a bye weekend coming on, things looked pretty grim for Thorns FC.Hang in there

Still top of table…but even with the Washington Spirit (who had two games in hand) on points and just a point ahead of the Western New York Flash (who had a game in hand).  The bye-weekend looked like a potential disaster, and a tumble from first to third and out of contention for a home semifinal.  I won’t kid you; I opened the NWSL website Sunday morning with a heavy heart.

But…

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Aside: The Goal I’ve Been Waiting To See

I love a golazo as much as the next fan, and there has been no shortage of good goals this year from Timbers players. Valeri’s winner against Colorado is a good case in point – one that fits very nicely into highlight packages and gifs. But for me, the goal that had me punching the air that little big harder was the first goal, and not just because it dragged Portland level in a vital game that was at one point in danger of just drifting away from them, but because that was the goal I’ve been waiting to see all season. A glorious display of passing, movement and intelligent play – this team still has it in them! And it’s this that will drag Portland to the playoffs and beyond. Continue reading

Business As Usual: Pep, Martinez and Caleb Porter’s plan.

I’ve written before about Roberto Martinez before, after he had performed what would be his last great escape from relegation with Wigan Athletic. That was in May 2012, not a particularly happy time to be a Timbers fan, and I’d used Martinez’s attacking, possession-based tactics as a potential model for refreshing a lacklustre Timbers FC. Though the specifics of Martinez’s tactics have changed since then, and his goals a bit loftier than simply staying up, his Everton side are still playing football that is offensive and attractive to watch. It’s also effective. At his new club, Martinez has outstripped his predecessor, the often grumpy and dour, but pragmatic Scot, and done so by playing attractive football. Continue reading

Strength

Kevin Alexander wonders if the Timbers greatest defensive strength is also the root of their downfall against Real Salt Lake.


Confession time. I had Real Salt Lake as my pick to win the West from long before the Timbers made a late run towards first (I had us down for 4th or 5th, so shows what I know), and even Portland’s triumph didn’t shake me of my belief that Jason Kreis’ side was the best team in the league. Continue reading

The Core

After a 1-0 victory against Douchey Clint & the Cunt Bunch, the Timbers moved to within 180 minutes of filling the temporary Cascadia Cup-shaped hole in the trophy room with a Supporters Shield. The win wasn’t a swashbuckling display of their superiority over The Team That Don Bought, but was marked out as another tough win ground out, at times, in a manner that’s coming to define “Porterball” as much as any of the stylish attacking football that we do still see in fits and starts deep into October, which is no mean feat when you play with this intensity on dreaded turf.

Just as well the pitch is so small here – saves energy for these late season runs. Nice out-of-the-shoebox- thinking, guys. Continue reading