The Portland Timbers had a lot to celebrate this past Fourth of July after beating the number one ranked team, the San Jose Earthquakes on July 3rd. With quite a tough schedule, the next opponent for the Timbers was Real Salt Lake, the number 2 ranked team in the Western Conference.
Within the past week, Timbers fans have watched their team secure a much needed victory, lose another game on the road and receive the news that John Spencer has been relieved of head coach duties; a staggering couple weeks indeed.
First off, I would like to talk about the victory over the San Jose earthquakes. The Timbers played an impressive match of football and took a defined stance against the criticism they have been receiving all season. In front of a rowdy home crowd and with nothing to lose, the Timbers secured a 2-1 win over the Quakes. It seemed to be just what the Timbers needed.
Portland’s offense was quick, and full of both attack and surprise. It was the offensive tactics we needed. Offense attacked from both ends, brought pressure to the box, and utilized the midfielders. The duo of Songo’o and Danny Mwanga was quite impressive with Portland coming out on top with 19 shots on goal, versus San Jose’s 17.
Fast-forward a couple days to the match against Real Salt Lake. With the Timbers struggling to secure a win on the road, coming off a win against the hottest team in the league seemed like the ticket … wrong. Now with a 0-6-2 record on the road, the Timbers will gladly look forward to their next game at home versus the LA Galaxy.
The Timbers play against RSL was not bad, but they (RSL) played better and quicker football. Their passing outplayed Timber defense and a penalty kick in the 75th minute secured the 3-0 victory for RSL.
With the team headed back to Portland, many fans could smell the news of what was to come concerning John Spencer. The news had been lingering and another loss on the road might have just made the decision final. Taking over will be Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson, whom has been with the Timbers since 2001. Wilkinson stated that the “team must move forward” as they shift their focus towards improving the Timbers stats.
Wilkinson, who posts quite an impressive resume with the Timbers, will maintain his duties as general manager while taking over head coaching duties as well.
The Timbers have dealt with quite the emotional season, with plenty of play left in 2012. Change can be good; lets hope it is appropriate for the Timbers at this point in time.
With some newly healed players (Eric Brunner-D, Bright Dike-F) Timbers take on the LA Galaxy this Saturday at 8PM. This is a crucial match for the Timbers, as we get closer to playoffs. Big playoff game….GO TIMBERS!