The Portland Timbers went into Thursday's game with a 24 game unbeaten streak in USL play—they hadn't lost since the first game of the season—but also barely escaped Charleston 0-0 on the road the week before, playing a style of play that could be charitably described as lethargic.
The Timbers were at the top of the league with a +25 goal differential and they had smacked the Rhinos around at their last meeting, to the tune of 4-1.
Details after the jump!
The game was hard to watch. The 11,000+ people in attendance saw a Timbers team that lacked the offensive spark that carried the team in previous matches, possibly due to the extended absence of Johann Claesson, who keeps getting elbowed in the head. There's also the matter of the Mighty Kiwi Cameron Knowles, who broke his leg badly in the August 12th match against Montreal in a regrettable on-field accident (we can't even blame the fuckers).
The Timbers struggled for offense and the Rhinos exploited a few defensive lapses—none of theirs were highlight reel goals—to send the Timbers to the showers defeated for the first time since April.
Long story short, Rochester came to town and chipped, bit, pulled, complained, bitched, whined, punched, and scrapped their way to a 2-1 victory.
Dear Andrew Gregor,
You played for the Timbers for a while. You were the first ex-Sounder I had to accept as a nascent Timbers fan, but I never quite did. I cheered 4/5ths as hard when you scored goals than when someone else did. I was very happy we dumped your ass in Rochester. In the bottom of my soul, I know you spend your nights calling conservative talk radio and masturbating to the same ragged Claudia Schiffer workout beta-max. You despise better players for their slightly larger apartments and occasional bobblehead promotions. You seethe when referees get calls right, because you can't use your best skill: you're a level 200 kvetcher.
I hated rooting for you, and I even hate rooting against you, because you're the whiniest bastard to pretend to play professional sports. You may win some matches, you may even score a goal or two, but no matter who you play for, people feel dirty cheering for you.
Well then. On to more important topics, like how the Timbers are going to win the league! How you ask? Well the Timbers have the USL equivalent of the perfect rebound girl in their next match, away at Austin, who are second from the bottom of the table and struggling to, well, resemble a professional sports team. That game kicks of at 4pm Portland time tomorrow, AKA THE WORST TIME TO HAVE A GAME EVER, which I blame on Willy Nelson. Considering it's Texas and Monday Night has American Football on the TV again, I predict an attendance in excess of 45 people, but no more than 100. Book it.
I think the loss will do the team good, and they can concentrate on winning the league and all the accolades that come with it, like a weird looking trophy, an ecstatic fan base, a bye in the first round of the playoffs, and home field advantage through to the final,
shouldwhen they make it.