Another friggin' gorgeous night at the House of Pane as the Timbers host San Jose in a U.S. Open Cup play-in match. Regular starters will have the best seat in the house for this one, as coach John Spencer sends a reserve-heavy lineup onto the pitch just three days removed from Portland's stunning 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake.
No TV coverage for this one tonight, but check out this here live stream and stick around as the Merc's first-team soccer blogger (me!) follows the action on and off the field.
Pregame—The stadium is not exactly full (other than the usual sections on the north end, of course) as the teams go through their pre-game preparations. I can still read "PORTLAND" clearly in in the east grandstand, to give you some idea of how full this place is.
Your starting lineups (a very, very different one than we've seen from Portland this season, and for that reason, I'll include first names):
Portland—Troy Perkins in goal, Spencer Thompson and Ryan Pore up front, Rodrigo Lopez, Adam Moffat, James Marcelin and Sal Zizzo at mid, and Steve Purdy, David Horst(ache), Kevin Goldthwaite and Freddie Braun on defense. Goldthwaite is the captain, and regular starters Cooper, Nagbe, Alhassan, Hall and Danso are available as subs. Timbers are sporting those unbeaten white shorts and Perkins is clad in baby blue.
San Jose—Andrew Webber in goal, Chris Wondolowski and Ryan Johnson up front, Bobby Convey, Brad Ring, Sam Cronin and Khari Stephenson at mid, and Ramiro Collares, Ike Opara, Bobby Burling and Steven Beitashour on defense. I'm told by a San Jose PR guy that Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop has done some pretty heavy overhauling of the lineup lately, but that "six or seven" of tonight's starters are regulars.
1st minute—And we're underway. Timbers going right to left toward TA.
3rd minute—Pore fighting for position in the box and gets taken down on the goal line. A corner for Portland is cleared out.
7th minute—A couple of hard tackles in the sixth minute continue, and Spencer Thompson makes a good turn and gets behind San Jose's Brad Ring. Ring takes Thompson down from behind, and a free kick coming from 35 yards out.
8th minute—Corner headed by Goldthwaite and a free ball in front of the net is almost hammered home as Thompson goes flying into the net.
10th minute—Did Adam Moffat get a pep-talk from Kenny Cooper before this match? He's running dudes over out there and definitely setting a physical tone for the Timbers.
16th minute—Marcelin blasts one from 25 yards out, but it goes wide left past a diving Weber.
18th minute—Moffat plays one down the left side and Lopez crosses, but Weber gobbles it up.
19th minute—Ring gets some space right in front of the 18-yard box, but takes an extra dribble before his shot is knocked down immediately by Goldthwaite. A bit of a lucky stretch there for Portland.
21st minute—San Jose's first corner easily cleared. They get another chance and a header toward the goal, but some physical play inside Goldthwaite causes it to go right.
23rd minute—Wondolowski and Thompson are taking turns knocking each other on their asses.
25th minute—Zizzo shows some good speed to chase one down along the east sideline, and Braun sends a corner in, but it's cleared out. Marcelin then crosses one in, and Pore earns a foul knocking down a San Jose defender.
27th minute—Perkins gets hammered in the box by Opara as both go up for a San Jose free kick. The Portland keeper bounces right back up like nothing happened. Gangster.
29th minute—Thompson with another hard foul. Ref gives him a long look, but no yellow. Don't think he'll get the same treatment next time.
30th minute—Things are definitely getting chippy. Lots of bodies on the pitch. Portland is the aggressor, but San Jose is hardly backing down.
33rd minute—Zizzo (who's looking downright speedy out there) gets knocked down and earns a free kick from 35ish yards out. Lopez swings one in, but it's headed away.
33rd minute—Ring has a wide-open shot at the goal after Perkins is knocked down going for a free kick. But the Timbers get lucky when Ring's shot goes well high.
37th minute—A frustrated Corrales knocks Zizzo down away from the ball. No yellow, but a Lopez free kick is headed by Horst and Pore gets possession before a San Jose defender blasts it into Timbers Army. Ensuing corner is headed by Lopez on-goal, but into the hands of Weber.
40th minute—Johnson gets it into the box, but Braun makes a nice defensive play to take it from the Oregon State grad. But a quick giveaway leaves the Timbers feeling lucky Perkins didn't have to face a shot from Stephenson right in front.
42nd minute—Johnson with a nice cross, but the Timbers are fortunate again as Stephenson whiffs.
43rd minute—Opara is knocked down and writhing around in "pain" in front of his sideline, but either the Earthquakes don't have a trainer, or he's already in the locker room chowing on a hot dog. Or maybe, they figure, hey, he's a soccer player—probably just faking it.
45 minutes in—Two minutes of stoppage time ... sure felt like three. Maybe the ref wanted to give the rather sparse crowd a reason to stick around?
Halftime—A scoreless tie so far. Lots of physical play out there and a handful of chances for each team. Not exactly the most enthralling action of the season, but some nice performances so far from Horst, Zizzo and Moffat in particular. We'll see how this shakes out in the second half, but keep in mind because this is a U.S. Open Cup elimination game, if we're still tied after 90 minutes, they'll play an extra 30.
Just saw Eric Brunner and Bright Dike up here on the catwalk, heading toward the media buffet. Both are in the team's official gameday threads—tailored grey suits and light blue shirts. Yeah, pretty safe to say we won't be seeing either of those guys (Dike's still nursing an Achilles rupture) in the second half.
Some halftime stats to chew on: Portland out-shot San Jose 3-2 and had two shots on goal. The Timbers also out-fouled the Earthquakes 9-5 and Weber had a pair of saves. They're showing halftime "highlights" on the video board, and it's basically comprised of dudes colliding and knocking each other down.
46th minute—Second half is underway as dusk begins to fall here. No subs for either team at the half. San Jose comes right out and gets a shot on goal from Stephenson on the right side, but a Timbers defender steps in front. Timbers Army are letting it be known: When they root, they root for the Timbers.
49th minute—Purdy knocked to the pitch after being undercut, and he isn't moving. Ref immediately calls over a trainer, and the Timbers aren't happy. Purdy gets back to his feet and gingerly walks to the east sideline while rubbing his neck a bit. Rookie Chris Taylor warming up on the sideline as Purdy walks it off.
50th minute—Purdy is back, and throws it in. Pore picks up a yellow card, Portland's first of the night.
54th minute—Pore gets the crowd up with a long run in open space along the east side, but Opara makes a great tackle to cut off Pore in the box.
58th minute—A small bit pressure by Portland, as Zizzo plays one off his chest and Moffat works it to Lopez, whose header lofts into Weber's grasp.
60th minute—Zizzo chips one into the Thompson, but his outstretched left leg doesn't get enough of a piece of it to put it on-goal.
61st minute—There's a second ball on the pitch in the Timbers' end, but nobody seems to notice. Perkins gets an eye on it and runs over to kick it off. Where you at, ball boys?
61st minute—Corrales picks up a yellow card, San Jose's second.
64th minute—Braun plays a nice ball into the box on a free kick and Pore gets a shot from the top of the box, but it sails on him.
65th minute—Thompson and Pore both knocked down and a free kick is earned. But it looks premature as the intended target, Zizzo, looked nowhere near ready for it. A good chance wasted there for Portland.
66th minute—Seven Timbers warming up on the sideline as Thompson is knocked down. A free kick upcoming for Portland from about 30 yards out. Lopez drives one in and Moffat tries to loft one in, but gets a bit too much air under it.
70th minute—Goldthwaite looks to be in some pain. He's hobbling around a bit and unluckily keeps getting the ball knocked in his direction.
71st minute—Announced attendance is 11,412—well off a sellout. I'm guessing about 7,000 more will be here Friday for Philadelphia. Of course, I don't see many empty seats in Timbers Army. Weird.
75th minute—Horst loses his footing and it leads to a Johnson shot on goal. Perkins goes high to get a fingertip on it, and the Timbers dodge another bullet.
79th minute—Pore plays a through-ball in from the top of the box, but it's a bit too hot and Thompson can't catch up to it.
80th minute—Both teams are going into conservative mode as Cronin picks up a yellow card for San Jose.
81st minute—A good ball played into Zizzo, but his header is just out of the reach of Pore and gathered in by Weber.
83rd minute—Steven Lenhart (who, randomly, is Adam Moffat's brother-in-law), enters for Stephenson.
85th minute—Thompson makes a run down the east sideline and has Purdy open in the box, but doesn't see him as his shot is blocked out of bounds for a Portland throw-in.
86th minute—Moffat blasts one from 30 yards out right at Weber and Pore nearly gets to the rebound before the San Jose keeper pulls it in. Close one.
88th minute—Braun just made what could be a game-saving tackle from behind on a breaking-away Convey. Biggest cheer of the night in a scoreless match.
90 minutes—Johnson powers his way into the box and gets a shot on goal, but Perkins knocks it away from a tough angle. Three minutes of stoppage time as San Jose's corner is nearly headed in.
Stoppage—Johnson is playing like a man possessed, and after he's tackled hard by Moffat, he picks up a yellow after tackling Zizzo hard in the Timbers' end. With Wondolowski pretty much under wraps in this game thus far, Johnson may be the most dangerous player on the field.
End of Regulation—Still 0-0. We'll have two 15-minute overtimes here, and if it's not decided by then, this one will go to penalty kicks.
Both teams are huddling near midfield and Spencer is animated as ever. I counted seven Timbers warming up in the waning moments of the second half, so it'll be interesting to see which subs/regular starters (if any) come in here.
1st minute of Overtime—We're back, with no changes for either team.
4th minute of Overtime—San Jose's Justin Morrow in for Convey.
8th minute of Overtime—Futty entering for Goldthwaite, who's limping all over the place. That captain's armband was hardly a good-luck charm for him tonight, as he repeatedly was forced to put pressure on that left ankle.
9th minute of Overtime—Lenhart knocks down Zizzo, who pops up and goes WWE on him, pointing and getting all up in his business. Either Zizzo's really pissed, or he's trying to give his squad a spark.
11th minute of Overtime—Goldthwaite heading to the locker room, walking rather gingerly.
14th minute of Overtime—San Jose nets one on what looks like a header, but a handball is called on Lenhart. And oh boy, do the Timbers not appreciate that. Zizzo jumps in Lenhart's face and some chest-bumping ensues. Lenhart gets a yellow.
16th minute of Overtime—We'll have one minute of stoppage for the first OT.
End of first overtime—Not a lot of friendships were forged out there during that first OT. Not a lot of action, either, and we're headed to a second OT.
Second overtime—It looked like Hall was coming in for Moffat (because, you know, they announced it on the PA) but Moffat's still in there. We're underway, with no subs for either side. If neither team scores, we're going to PKs. If you want to know how that all works, quickly grab your VHS copy of "Ladybugs" and fast-forward to the exciting conclusion.
19th minute of Overtime—Zizzo's on the ground, with what looks like a cramp. Jeremy Hall now gets his number called, and he comes in for Lopez.
21st minute of Overtime—Nagbe coming in for Zizzo, while for San Jose, McLoughlin enters for Johnson. Both teams are out of subs as Pore readies for a free kick from 25 yards out. It's off a San Jose defender and the Timbers earn a corner.
24th minute of Overtime—A San Jose corner leads to a Futty header, and the Earthquakes get a shot off, but Perkins makes the easy save in traffic.
27th minute of Overtime—A San Jose foul in the Timbers box leaves Hall and Moffat limping. Then, after Pore starts limping around, Marcelin picks up a yellow for fouling Lenhart. San Jose had a good chance there, but Hall's fresh legs prove valuable as he gets in front of the San Jose forward and Futty clears it out.
29th minute of Overtime—San Jose GOAL! Cronin crosses into Opara, who heads it past a diving Perkins. 1-0 Earthquakes. Opara then gets a yellow for his celebration, which involved removing his jersey.
30th minute of Overtime—Pore has a golden chance, but can't handle the ball on a long pass into the box. One minute of extra time.
Full time—Timbers get a flurry of chances in the final minute, but San Jose hangs on to hand Portland its first loss at home. San Jose 1, Portland 0. A crazy finish as the Earthquakes find a way to get it done. This one certainly won't sit well for the Timbers, who return to action on Friday, but are officially eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup. San Jose will go on to play Chicago. I have a sneaking suspicion a few fans will be upset with Spencer for not going to the bench (and his regular starters) in overtime and pretty much counting on his reserves to try and steal this win. In terms of importance, it's pretty clear that for Spencer, MLS > U.S. Open Cup.