A disappointing night
at PGE Park as the Portland Timbers were picked off by the San Jose Earthquakes 0-3.
A large crowd of 10,622
got treated to an almost full-strength Earthquakes team, but sadly only saw glimpses
of the Timbers potential after the game, as a contest, was killed early on when Gavin Wilkinson was sent off
Prior to that the game had started quietly, but on 17' after a nice 1-2
by the San Jose forwards Landon Donovan
and Brian Ching
, Wilkinson was giving a red card after pulling Ching back
in the box. Ekeland
converted the penalty, the Earthquakes were 1-nil up and the Timbers never recovered
Playing against a side that collectively
and in most cases individually
were a class above, the Timbers suffered badly
being a man down and for long stretches of the game the Earthquakes could move the ball around PGE Park freely, waiting for a chance
Credit to the Timbers though, they didn't completely fold
after the penalty and held on till the second half before conceeding another goal.
With Brian Winters
dropping back into the back line, the Timbers had to soak up a lot of pressure with Josh Saunders
making 2 or 3 key saves from the feet of his former teammates.
On 25' Donovan's layoff to Hart, the Timbers couldn't clear
his cross and Ching shot over. A minute later Donovan's dipping shot
was just over Josh Saunders' crossbar.
27' and Winters lost out to Donovan, but Saunders made the save, one of many facing his old San Jose teammates on this night.
Being fair, Winters did do an OK job
against Ching, but as we'd seen before playing for Seattle he's adept at coming deep
, picking up the ball and turning. Tonight was no different.
At the other end a big factor in the Timbers lack of punch
was the fact that Ryan Cochrane
and Craig Waibel
(both extremely solid at the back) were getting the better of Alan Gordon
in the air. The long balls forward looking for a Gordon nod down were ineffectual tonight
Byron Alvarez shot over
from 25yds on 34' and Alex Bengard found some space on the right on 37', but his cross sailed over everyone
in the San Jose box.
Particularly effective for San Jose was Mullan wide on the right
. Cutting inside Sagare with regularity to set up Ching and Donovan whose teamwork at the top of the box was slick.
On 41' Waibel's foul on Gordon set up a free kick 35 yds out. Gregor's quick kick
was to Bengard, but his shot was just over.
Right on half-time Gordon did get a head on a long Saunders clearance, almost getting Alvaraz in
, but Dunivant was there to mop-up.
Then at the other end Saunders had to save again
from the incoming Donovan after Mulrooney's through-ball.
Half-Time: 0-1 San Jose
replaced Donovan in the second half, the US international stopping off for photos and autographs
on his way past the beer garden and the Timbers seemed to start off with more confidence
On 53' a great move
involving Hugo Alcaraz, Gregor, Bengard, Gordon, Sagare, back to Bengard
who let the ball roll across the top of the San Jose box, but couldn't find the gap
for the shot.
The glimpse of Timbers attack was almost immediately beaten down
when some poor defending
at the back (playing the ball across the back-line under pressure) caused Shaun Saunders
to lose out to Ching. He played the ball to Ramiro Corrales
and he rifled the ball past Saunders to make it 0-2
It seemed like the floodgates might open
as San Jose attacked again, a nice move ending with Mullan's one touch
setting up Ching, luckily the shot blocked.
Credit to Bobby Howe
now as he must have realized that the Timbers had to make changes. 1-nil down and there was still a chance
of getting back in the game (even though one could argue that immediately
after the red card Winters should have been replaced with someone more used to playing at the back. 2 down in a Cup game and things needed mixing up
New Timber Scot Thompson stripped off
and waited patiently as the Earthquakes strung together what seemed like 30+ passes with no Timber touching the ball, Winters did manage to cut off De Rosario as he bared down on goal, but it was the last action
for him as finally Thompson replaced him on 60'.
So...to the positives of the night
. First the crowd
. Lovely to see PGE Park filled, hopefully some first-timers come back. Second, Scot Thompson
. The defender from the LA Galaxy stood out. Calm and composed
at the back, ready to come forward on the overlap. He's going to be a joy to watch
for the rest of this year.
If it was me I would have added the speed of Edwin Miranda
at this point too, but then I'm not the boss!
61' and another San Jose move and chance for a goal. Corrales to De Rosario
, back to Corrales to Ching, but his soft shot trickled
straight to Saunders from about 8 yds out.
Thompson was overlapping Alcaraz on the right and on 67' the best Timbers move
of the night got the home crowd jumping. A sweeping move ending with Conway saving Sagare's shot
for the corner. From the kick, Bengard's shot was wide
right, but a sign that the Timbers could make a game of it
2 more corners
for the Timbers in quick succession and more changes. Dombrowski
on for Cochrane, Walker
on for Corrales.
Another Timbers corner on 73' and the Timbers were finally playing
replaced Bengard on 75' and on 79' another good Timbers move as Gordon's cross was played off to Alvarez
by Alcarez-Cuellar, but his shot was to keeper Conway.
Then on 80' the Earthquakes finished the game
. Mulrooney to Mullan, who again cut inside Sagare
to cross from the right perfectly for De Rosario to head past Saunders
. 0-3 San Jose
Brown replaced Ching, Antoniuk replaced a limping Gordon
and the game faded away leaving the Timbers out of the US Open Cup
and looking forward to their NorthWest road trip this coming weekend.
O-US Open and (Shut)Out
MLSNet.com-Quakes Move Past 10-Man Timbers
WWeek.com-Timbers Outnumbered, Outgunned