Happy little trees

Do I have my ticket?

Do I have my wallet?

Do I have my keys?

Wait. Do I have my ticket?

Do I have a competent back four and a confident striker?

After a 5-1 win over an expansion side in the Timbers’ 2017 home opener, I’m absolutely sure of the following: I have my ticket, my wallet, and my keys.

The forward looks like he’s decided this is his year. I’m still apprehensive about the back four. I’ll probably stay apprehensive for quite some time.

Five goals in a game, a home game, the first home game of the season, might push us to see more in this team than is actually there.

To be fair to Minnesota, they held their ground remarkably in the first half, despite giving up a goal to (apologies to Larry) perhaps the least likely non-goalkeeping Timber on the field. It was only really in those last fifteen minutes of the second half that the Loons came completely unglued.

What’s key here is that, when that glue started to fail, the Timbers stepped up to capitalize. I think it’s fair to say many past Timbers teams would have taken the 2-1 win and that would have been that. But this team (and especially Fanendo Adi) saw opportunity and took it.

Caleb Porter said after the game he was disappointed not to go 3-0. I get you, brother. I do. And I’ll add to that by saying the Minnesota goal made me nervous.

A lot of people are high on a decisive opening weekend win and, while I don’t want to go all Debbie Downer here, I’m going to need to see what happens against a stronger team, and what happens on the road. It’s possible we see both of these things next week when the Timbers play away at the Galaxy.

Until then, maybe let’s calm down. I understand painting happy little trees is helpful.