Timbers excite, but don’t play up to expectations

The Portland Timbers certainly don’t ever bore their fans. Instead, Timbers fans have gone through the full gamut of emotions.

This season has been exciting, even if the Timbers have only won one game, and that excitement shined through Providence Park last week when Portland scored in extra time to tie the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Of course, the only reason the Timbers had to tie that game was because just minutes before Portland allowed a long throw-in to get into the box. It was easily headed straight into the back of the net by Galaxy forward Robbie Keane.

Providence Park went quiet, only to explode minutes later when Diego Valeri scored the game-tying goal.

This game was very representative of the Timbers’ season, which has been full of performances that have been nothing special as far as the standings go, but incredibly exciting, especially during anytime past the 80th minute.

Unfortunately for Portland, this kind of heart-stopping, late-goal scoring soccer won’t get them into the playoffs unless it concludes in three points at the end of the day instead of one. Even with that said, I’m sure some who follow the team closely would agree with me when I say that it would be nice for them to get a 2–0 or even a 3–0 win, with goals early and often. That way no one would have to pop out the antacids mid-game.

More important than singular wins for Portland’s playoff hopes, will be consistently putting points on the table. The season is still in its early stages but with only one win in all the games the Timbers have played, their spot in the standings has suffered, and their chance of getting the amount of points necessary to make the playoffs has slowly decreased.

In spite of all of this, if there is one thing this Portland Timbers team does, it’s fight. And that is evident with their late game heroics. Portland won’t back down from any team or any challenge. They play to the last whistle, with their best play often coming right before that whistle.

Portland is hoping that hard work will eventually pay off, especially if they play as well at the beginning of games as they do at
the end.

What is not going well for the Timbers isn’t that they are losing. Both the Timbers and the conference-leading Sounders have the same amount of losses going into the week. The problem is that the Timbers aren’t winning.

Portland plays the New York Red Bulls Saturday to start a two game road trip, which continues on May 28 against Chivas USA. If the Timbers can string a couple of wins together on the road, it could potentially set up a very meaningful game against the Vancouver Whitecaps at home on June 1.

Winning on the road in two tough environments will be difficult for the Timbers, but with their start to the season, it’ll be necessary to get back into the playoff race.