every blogger begs for a day like yesterday to write about, but i am confronted with an inability to accurately describe the match and the events surrounding that game. for every loss. every heart wrenching late-minute-stab-in-the-chest goal. every time i would say “no, not this again.” every time i would shake my head in disbelief, i also held onto the hope that at some point there would be an end to the disappointment. but i now face describing something i have not described in the last few years. if my voice and my ears and my overall good mood is not indication enough that i have been relieved, then perhaps this is:
TIMBERS 2 – 1 SOUNDERS
in an effort worthy of the tifo presented for this match, the timbers out played, out hustled, and simply outclassed a bunch of classless mugs more concerned with cheating, diving and thugging their way to victory than actually playing football. while the reported possession stats may reflect something none of us present at the jw observed, the reported number of fouls committed by the sounders sure did. the sounders committed 23 fouls against the timbers while attempting to prove that they could beat up on their so called lesser rivals. like the offensive color of their kit, the joke was on seattle. they had to suffer the histrionics of fredy montero, the laughable barnet of the world’s biggest douchebag, patrick ianni, the 45 minutes of insufferably bad play by brad evans, and the 3 hour drive back north.
before getting on to the actual game, i need to mention that section 210 was infiltrated by a few individuals with a really poor sense of style. i get that their front office approved that horrendous, super-duper ugly aqua-my-god-is-it-atrocious kit, but they do not have to buy that thing. ever. nothing could ever entice me to purchase such a reckless disregard for the senses, not even a sophie’s choice moment between getting busy with mrs sunshine or not getting busy with mrs sunshine ever again. i think i would rather be a monk, nude in antartica, than force that sartorial scud missile over my head and onto my shoulders. a man must have some pride—even if he supports the sounders. hopefully those tourists in my section took away a very important lesson from yesterday’s loss—one must always choose a team with proper fashion sense. embarrassing.
given the injuries and the red-cards for stupid and unnecessary tackles of opposing players, the teams pretty much picked themselves. the timbers fielded perkins, captain jack, futty, horst, steven “thanks be to jesus, mary, and joseph he returned safely from his scotia nuptials” smith, diego, songo’o, kalif, nagbe, kris boyd, and zombie mike fucito. Seattle fielded a bunch of cheating nitwits with bad hair. within the first minute fredy montero had committed a foul and set the tone for the sounders approach to this match.
disregarding the sounders approach the timbers took the attack to the sounders, earning a couple free kicks and forcing several corners within the first ten minutes. before the match i had assumed that if the timbers were to score they would score through a set piece. from a tasty corner kick by franck songo’o, horst would have made that prediction truth if he had only put the ball on frame. while disappointing, that header exposed the frailties of the sounders defense–horst exposed parke for his naïve marking. frankly, there was no reason for horst to have so much space other than parke missing the memo that you need to stick on your mark.
five minutes later the timbers took advantage of that insight. steven smith and songo’o had some truly nice interplay on the left side of the penalty box. smith slotted a pass along the touchline for songo’o to run onto. he then continued his run forward and latched onto a nifty back heel from songo’o and then drove to the corner. in what seemed a combination slip and get low and do the limbo, smith put in one of the better crosses i have seen from a timber this year. boyd left hurtado looking pathetic. as hurtado attempted to claim offsides, he watched boyd tap the ball in to give the timbers a 1-nil lead within fifteen minutes. here, enjoy it again and again and again. i am sure the sounders will bitch and moan, moan and bitch, about that goal being offside. it was not–hurtado got beat.
to say smith was missed against the galaxy diminishes the point. he makes good runs, reads the ball well, sticks to his mark, is an all-around nuisance to the opposition, has guts, and he does not run as if he is in 6 inches of mud. oh, and he does not rock the ibra hair-do. his return meant the timbers score that goal. and if it was not enough for me to say it, boyd said it too. in his post-game comments he mentioned that he had not been given service like that in a while.
ten minutes on, and boyd nearly made it 2 nil. this time the attack came from the right side of the pitch. nagbe passed back to kalif, who snapped into the box a quick, looping cross. boyd timed his move beyond parke perfectly and headed the ball on goal. weber made a great, point-blank one-handed save, parrying the ball over the bar and out for a timbers corner.
songo’o stepped to the ball and delivered the cross. again, poor marking by the sounders lead to another horst opportunity. unlike the earlier effort, he potted this one by smartly heading to ground making an already difficult point-blank header even harder to save. i remember that goal in this order: songo’o’s cross comes in and i climb 3 rows behind me to stand face to face with a sounder, ruffle his hair, and then laugh long, hearty, and obnoxiously. and the great thing about that hair ruffle is that i was not alone—3 other fellas are standing there ruffling his hair and laughing in his face along with me. that was awesome.
the most remarkable thing about the first half was that we managed to get out of it without conceding a goal. though it was almost not to be. cuban exile, now american citizen, alonso drilled an impressive dipping shot from 30 yards out and forced perkins to make an equally impressive save. clearly perkins was going to have one of those days he has when he decides to not allow goals.
seven minutes into the second half, alonso forced perkins to make another great save. driving from left to right, alonso took a right-footed shot from 18 yards out. his earlier strike was good and required a very good save, this shot was terrifying. our defense had opened up, allowing him too much space and time on the ball. granted, at this point of the match kalif was hobbled by a hamstring issue he picked up earlier in the second half and was incapable of defending his dinner let alone alonso. the fact he was immobilized is understandable, if not forgivable. thankfully, perkins had the strike covered.
as much as the timbers controlled the first half, the sounders did their best to replicate that in the second half. the earlier part of the second half indicated a change in the sounders attack. they controlled the ball better and were able to retain possession, stringing together a series of passes consisting of more than one. their possession was impressive enough that when in the 58 minute songo’o failed to pick out diego on his right rather than passing to a covered fucito in a counter attack that strange feeling of “oh, god, here comes the end” came over me.
true enough, following that break the sounders drove down the right side of the pitch. the ball was lofted over the head of horst who had overcommitted on eddie johnson. johnson took the ball in stride. regardless of the attempts the timbers made to get back on defense and put johnson off balance, he struck the ball into the far corner to make it 2-1. it would be unfair of me to say that was not a good goal—it was. as solid as horst was throughout the match, and he was solid, that moment was inexcusable. horst was only required to keep his body between johnson and goal. instead he found himself sliding down johnson’s rear-end as eddie drove goalwards with the ball.
the timbers then did something new this season—they locked down the opposition’s attack. as many chances as they provided the sounders to equalize they beat back each and every one. it was not an easy victory, but it was a sweet victory.
as satisfying as that win was it was made even better knowing that fredy montero was handed a red card. fredy is a sissy and is prettier than some women. but just because he looks like a woman does not mean he is exempt from retribution when he hits someone. yeah, i was taught that boys never hit girls, but fredy is not a girl regardless of how much he wants to look like one. so when he laid out horst in the 90 minute he had to know a tussle would ensue. frankly, fredy had been looking for it all game. several times i thought he would get and should have received a card for dissension. not to mention the fouls he committed throughout the game. he is simply a bad sport. eventually, he was shown a red card for his behavior and then took the football equivalent of the walk of shame experienced by many sorority girls. in the years of attending timbers matches i have never heard the crowd as loud as when fredy walked off the pitch a loser. if he does not watch out, levesque may have an usurper to bother with.
with that, enjoy this all week long!