Six Degrees: 2017 Season Preview

My God, is this real? Is C.I. really doing a season preview?

Yes. As we enter my fifth season writing this Six Degrees column for Slide Rule Pass, I’m doing my first-ever out-of-season column. Crazy, right?

What can I say? The team’s got me excited. They’re making me want to write words.

So let’s do it. Let’s see if I can shoehorn my thoughts and hopes and worries and bad jokes into six semi-coherent sections.

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The Double Post – literally half a hair’s breadth

It is deep in the Black Months now.  The rain – and the snow, and ice – has arrived.  The trees are bare, the wind blows cold, and, perhaps the worst of all, the pitch down at the old barn on SW 18th and Morrison is empty and silent.

And the damn Sounders are in the Cup Final.

But.star

Let’s not forget that it was only just over a year ago that we all were raised to topgallant delight by our Timbers’, and Cascadia’s, first MLS Championship.  I don’t think any of us who lived through that mad run up to the Final, and that epic Final match, will forget that season and the joy that came with it.

From Chara’s “Assassin’s Creed” header in LA to the madness of the play-in match and 22 rounds of PKs.

From the cold calculation of the scoreless draw here to the clinical beatdown in Vancouver.

From the wild ride on the FC Dallas bull to the 95th minute Melano dagger to the heart of the beast.

From Diego Valeri’s ridiculously improbable 27-second goal to the final whistle that crowned the Timbers the 2015 MLS Champions.

What a long, strange trip it was.

And now, just as we await the end of the 2016 season and begin to think and wonder about 2017 comes a reminder that it was a stranger, more magical, and less probable trip even than it seemed at the time.

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CCL: Booted Out

I’m stepping on C.I.’s toes a bit here, but before this weekend’s critical match in Our House in the Middle of B.C. I wanted to post a brief note about the Wednesday night 1-1 home draw to Saprissa C.D. that knocked the Timbers out of the CONCACAF Champion’s League.

chara

I can’t add much to William Conwell’s report at the Stumptown link above.  Yes, it was a brutal hackfest.  We think we have it bad here in MLS (as C.I. noted about the Colorado match this past weekend…) until we have to play under the indifferent gaze of CCL officials.  This was a whole order of magnitude rougher.

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