An own goal, a PK, another own goal, a goalkeeping blunder, two red cards, two next game suspensions. Am I missing anything? Oh, yeah, we lost.
1) I could probably begin and end this column with Vytautas Andriuskevicius. He said on live television what all of us were thinking at home.
Shitty is a pretty good adjective for Wednesday’s 3-2 loss in Minnesota. Chaotic would work, too. Sad. Inept. Frustrating. There are many adjectives Vytas could have used, but “shitty’s” what he went with.
The Timbers are still officially above the red line – somehow, we haven’t dropped below it all year – but as Matt Doyle pointed out, that doesn’t mean we’re good.
Last 10 games across all competitions, @TimbersFC are 2-6-2. Worst record in the Western Conference in that span. Who saw that coming?
— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) June 22, 2017
The most annoying part for me is that I really thought we’d pulled out of our tailspin. After going 0-3-1 in May, the Timbers won their first two games of June with matching 2-0 scorelines. Two straight shutouts? Colorado and Minnesota coming up? I genuinely thought we could win four straight. Then Seattle at home? Hell, let’s go undefeated for the month!
But then we pissed away a lead in Colorado and, four days later, gave up three goals to the same club we beat 5-1 on opening day.
Apparently, those two straight shutouts didn’t mean much. Apparently, we’re still a team in distress.
2) It feels weird to call a 7th minute goal “inevitable,” but that’s the only word that comes to mind. When Minnesota went up 1-0, I was like, Welp, that’s no surprise.
The Timbers gave up three straight corner kicks, and blew the coverage three straight times. Blew it pretty badly, too.
On the first corner (sorry, no video), Marco Farfan was completely beaten by his man. Somehow, the ball went off us for another corner.
Next corner (again, sorry, no video), it was Diego Valeri being completely beaten by his man. Again, somehow, the ball went off us for another corner.
On the third corner, again we couldn’t clear it, and so this happened.
Yes, it’s an own goal, but honestly, if Amobi Okugo doesn’t get his foot on that ball, there are two Minny players right there waiting to tap it in.
Three straight corners, three straight failures. When the goal finally happened, I was surprised not one iota.
3) In the 36th minute, Minnesota decided it was time for them to screw something up. Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth did the honors.
I gotta be honest, if this were American football, that would be a hell of a nice play by Shuttleworth. Got there after the ball, laid Valeri out. No way is that pass interference.
Alas, this is soccer, not football, and that’s a penalty. Valeri took the resulting PK and sank it.
Worth noting, that was a really nice pass from Sebastian Blanco, wasn’t it? He had another pass to Valeri in the 25th minute that could’ve been a goal, had Valeri had a better first touch. To be honest, Blanco would have been my Man of the Match, were it not for what happened in the 70th minute.
But before we get to that, there are still some goals to discuss.
4) Coming onto the field for the second half, we saw that Farfan had been replaced by Vytas. This defensive change produced immediate results.
Three things worth noting: One, Diego Chara, please get up in Molino’s grill. Two, Roy Miller, were you trying to spring the offside trap there? Because no one else was. And three, that’s a damn nice first touch from Ramirez. I wish we’d seen such a nice touch from Valeri on that sweet pass from Blanco in the 25th.
The quick goal was annoying, but fortunately, we only had to wait three minutes for the Timbers to draw even.
That’s a hell of a nice goal. Yes, it’s an own goal, but regardless, I’d still call it the best Timbers attack of the game. Five quick passes through five different players, all in close quarters? And then Vytas has not one, not two, but three Timbers waiting in the box? If we’d attacked this well the entire game, we’d have scored seven goals.
5) Jake Gleeson was on the bench for this match, possibly for rest, possibly because of this howler from the previous match.
Whoops! I did it again! Sorry. Here’s the howler from last week.
So that’s possibly the reason Jake was on the bench and Jeff Attinella was between the sticks. Alas, Attinella did not prove himself the better keeper. In fact, all he really proved is that he can screw shit up, too.
Again, if this were American football, that’s a pretty solid play. But since it’s soccer, that’s pretty much a disaster. What the hell was Attinella thinking? The Minnesota player is covered. By two guys!
Well, anyway, if we’re keeping score, I think Gleeson and Attinella are tied. Each got chipped, each missed a punch. Should we start Kendall McIntosh on Sunday? Doesn’t he deserve a chance to get chipped and miss a punch?
6) Speaking of Sunday, Seattle’s coming to town. Do we have enough players to field an 11-man team?
Roy Miller won’t be playing, thanks to yellow card accumulation. That means a Lawrence Olum-Amobi Okugo partnership. Who’s backing them up? Probably Zarek Valentin, since he backs up pretty much every position on the field. Will Rennico Clarke finally make an 18? I’d like to see that.
Farther upfield, the Timbers most in-form attacker, Sebastian Blanco, will also be missing the game, thanks to this.
Three questions: One, if Blanco doesn’t kick out, does Danladi get a yellow card for the initial foul? Two, as feisty as Blanco is, how did it take him 17 games to get tossed? And three, will this be his only red card of the year? Somehow, I think he’s got at least one more in him.
Regardless, he’ll be missing Sunday’s game against Seattle. I guess this means Darlington Nagbe on the left and Dairon Asprilla on the right, which, to be honest, could be worse.
In their last nine MLS games, the Seattle Sounders are averaging 0.9 PPG. Pretty bad, right? Unfortunately, over that same timespan, the Timbers are averaging 0.88 PPG.
Which I guess means the big storyline for Sunday is which shitty team will out-shitty the other.