The head explosion heard around the world.
Yeah, that was me. If you heard a loud bang coming from the top left corner of the United States Saturday night, that was the sound of my head exploding as I watched Colorado score a goal in stoppage time to seal a 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers as a sold out, shocked JELD-WEN crowed watched in disbelief. Never mind the fact that Portland had dominated the second half and arguably played their best game as a unit this season. There it was; our third straight loss of the season and second straight loss at home. The sad thing was, as I mentioned above, we actually saw the Timbers play a solid offensive game. They had possession for most of the game, a lot of it in front of the Rapids box. The midfielders were finally creating opportunities for the forwards. Darlington Nagbe looked like the player we expected him to be on the ball. Forwards Perlaza and Cooper had some chemistry going between the two, setting each other up with scoring opportunities — something that had been missing all season long. However, despite all of these chances, the Timbers could not simply find the back of the net. Multiple breakaways, headers in front of the net, a shank before an empty goal. All resulted in misses. These events are what fans were subjected to on Saturday.
As frustration mounted in the second half, it didn’t help the situation when the referee made questionable calls, or lack of calls, time and time again. The officiating seemed to worsen as the game went on, getting so bad that in stoppage time, coach John Spencer was ejected for voicing his displeasure of the officiating crews’ performance.
I can agree the officiating was bad but I do not think it would have changed the outcome. Portland beat itself by creating great opportunities but were not able to finish them. Now we have a must win situation with the dangerous New York Red Bulls heading into town on Father’s Day. Portland will have to play without Spencer, who will be serving his one game suspension, as well as starting center back Futty Danso who will be out 2-3 weeks after suffering a shoulder injury.
However, we did see some good things on Saturday. The midfielders and forwards looked great despite their scoring woes and hopefully they can build upon that. Also, goalkeeper Troy Perkins is playing out of his skin right now. He’s truly having a great season and seems to be in top form. I also think the Red Bulls can be scored against and I expect good things from the Timbers come Sunday night. It’s a crucial point in our season.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the Timbers bounce back after another tough loss. Hopefully on Sunday, the explosion heard around the world won’t will be from my cranium, but from that of a JELD-WEN crowd erupting in celebration.