Since thumping FC Dallas 3-1 at home on April 4th, Portland has lost four times, drawn once, and only beat two of the worst teams in the league in Montreal and NYCFC.
Diego Valeri’s return didn’t solve much, and now Valeri is out again for at least a week with a sprained ankle. Darlington Nagbe has disappeared, Fanendo Adi is all over the place, and Caleb Porter appears out of answers and options.
Though Will Johnson’s return on Wednesday night against DC United should help with Portland’s increasingly languid play, a still-recovering Johnson isn’t going to save anything either. The Timbers are usually good with their backs against the wall, and they absolutely have to be this week – or things will get ugly in the Rose City.
9. Rapids on the Boars
A lightning-delayed 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps was the Colorado Rapids’ first home win in the league since last July.
It was a good performance from Colorado, especially defensively, against a decent team. The goal was set-up with a classy touch from DP forward Gabriel Torres, who appears to be rounding into form, and Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle also got a debut on a very satisfying day at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Although Pablo Mastroeni appears to be betting that the Rapids won’t be able to fire him simply because of how awesome he looks, his team have been a little tougher to handle in recent weeks. The All-Star game in July will be a touchstone for the Rapids, as they host Tottenham in Commerce City.
Hopefully for Mastroeni’s sake, this momentum is sustained.
With the Champions League Final in Berlin now less than two weeks away, Andrea Pirlo’s future has been the subject of increasingly fervent speculation over the weekend.
Weeks ago, ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman pegged Pirlo as the next major star most likely to come to MLS, and after missing out on Xavi to Qatar last summer, Pirlo is a player MLS – and it looks like NYCFC – should do everything in its power to land.
Pirlo isn’t just a player. He’s a showman. He’ll be worth the price of admission on whatever field he plays on, when increasingly NYCFC, rumored to be his preferred destination, has not been.
Didier Drogba, who had an emotional farewell from English soccer, is a possibility too, as he leaves Chelsea and most likely Europe after a second successful spell and fourth Premier League title at the Bridge. We’re coming up on a good time for MLS – it has just baseball to compete against, it’s some of the only soccer around, the weather is nice, the crowds get bigger, and the transfer window is open. Summer can’t start soon enough.
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