Hoo boy. Two teams without wins but with playoff potential. A former managerwho inspires mixed emotions due to his legendary (?) status as a player, but a crap coach. Desperate fan bases that teeteron the verge of optimism and anger.
As we have been harping on for months now, the U.S. Open Cup is D.C. United's last chance to salvage anything on the field this season. The next step towards the final comes tomorrow night against the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. But after United's 3-1 win over the Montreal Impact, there are questions at two key positions.
Goalkeeper Troy Perkins offers candid thoughts about how trades affect family members and discusses the Impact's current form. In the second segment, Sports Illustrated and FOX Soccer reporter Grant Wahl calls in to talk hats, Gold Cup and MLS.
Follow @GrantWahl on Twitter | Follow @GrantWahlsHat on Twitter
RELATED: Read Grant Wahl's recent article on Major League Soccer's playoff and regular season schedule.
The Portland Timbers were hosting the Montreal Impact in the hopes to gain some needed points at JELD-WEN Field before traveling in their next two matches. The Impact had other ideas after getting a win in Seattle last weekend, and they scored goals in the 30th and 60th minute to take a two goal lead.
Defender A.J. Soares scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute and goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth made a career-high seven saves to notch his second straight shutout as the New England Revolution closed the 2012 season with a 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact on Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo.
Montreal poured on a late onslaught, and Marco DiVaio came close to becoming the latest player to burn Toronto FC with a late goal, but the Italian missed a golden chance late and spared TFC another collapse.
Goalkeeper Freddy Hall made some key late saves to help Toronto salvage a scoreless draw against the Impact at BMO Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Montreal Impact took a 1-0 lead on the Columbus Crew in their important Eastern Conference
clash on Saturday, but in a scene that Crew fans have become all too familiar with in recent weeks,
Federico Higuain drove the Columbus attack to a victory.
Emilio Renteria headed home a Higuain cross in second-half stoppage time to lift the Crew to a
2-1 victory at Crew Stadium on Saturday night.
In-form Seattle Sounders forward Fredy Montero put together one of the best games of the MLS
season in an offensive outburst that was one of the best in a week that saw several outstanding
Montero's hat trick against Chivas USA highlighted a week in which San Jose's Alan Gordon and
Simon Dawkins and Columbus' Federico Higuain and Jairo Arrieta all delivered multiple goals in
victories, earning all five players spots on the SBI MLS Best XI as a result.
Even though the Chicago Fire will be off this weekend, there will still be a few matches this
weekend that should interest Fire fans. All of these matches will impact the Fire's playoff chances
and the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. All Matches are available on MLS Live unless
indicated. A list after the jump.
The Revs midfielders desire to dribble over playing the ball quickly has hurt the team lately.
(Photo: Chris Aduama/aduama.com)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. It's the same story, just different night for the New England Revolution. The
Montreal Impact came into Foxborough and took advantage of the one mistake New England made, while
the Revolution didn't have an answer for Montreal's defensive shape.
With 87 points, n00bius led all teams in scoring this week. Robbie Keane (LA, $11.0M) was the vice captain and (Mauro Diaz?!) notched 2 goals and an assist for 30 points. Both Erick Torres (CHV, $7.4M) and Javier Morales (RSL, $9.3M) scored 12 points - Torres with 2 goals, and Morales with 1 goal and 1 assist.
Our own Handsome Boys SC scored 75 points to lead the league this round. Nathan Sturgis (COL, $4.7M) captained the side and scored 14 points. His Rapids teammate Dillon Powers ($6.3M) scored a goal and earned an assist to score 12 points. Three other players scored seven points -- Chris Klute (COL, $5.
Things return to normal this week, as just three teams are on bye, and nobody plays more than once. This round we have a tie at the top of the leaderboard between Futbol5 and Bayern Neverlusen on 118 points. Both teams captained Camilo (VAN, $8.0M), who rewarded them by scoring 50 points on 3 goals and 2 assists.
The Timbers fell behind by two goals for the second time in seven days but, despite applying pressure to the Montreal defense in the second half, were unable manufacture a repeat of the Season Opener and salvage a point.
Donovan Ricketts started his MLS career with the LA Galaxy in 2009. Having spent five years with League 1 side Bradford City, the lanky Jamaican quickly established himself as one of the best keepers in the league, winning the league's Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2010.
But after spending much of 2011 injured and being spelled by the capable Josh Saunders, the LA Galaxy sent him to Montreal in exchange for allocation money.
PORTLAND, Ore.-It has been 390 minutes since the Timbers have conceded a goal in front of the home fans and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is one of the major reasons why Portland is enjoying its best run of form since joining MLS in 2011.
The Jamaican International arrived in Portland last August in exchange for fan favorite Troy Perkins.
I was reading the review of Portland's 2012 season posted on the MLS website and saw they had a look at the Opta stats. In the Opta stats article they had a link to download the Timbers' passing matrix, and so I did. I wanted to show you some observations I found and see what everyone else thought about the matrix.
On the morning of July 9, Timbers fans were whipped into a frenzy of anticipation, as news started to leak that head coach John Spencer would be fired later that day. That anticipation abruptly turned to, well, something else entirely at about 10am, when Geoffrey C Arnold reported that Gavin Wilkinson would be serving as interim head coach until a replacement could be found.
Joe Bendik was the Timbers' number two keeper for most of the 2012 season and saw the field five times thanks to injuries suffered by Troy Perkins and his upgrade, Donovan Ricketts. Bendik came on as a substitute twice and started three times, allowing eight goals, two of which were penalty kicks, and making eleven saves.
At the beginning of the 2011 season, both the first- and second-string keepers Troy Perkins and Adin Brown picked up injuries and Jake Gleeson, suddenly the team's only healthy keeper, was called on to start a few games early in the season, including the home opener. In that time, Gleeson endeared himself to the fans and made some thoroughly impressive saves.
The 2012 season has been an absolute disaster in just about every way it could have been. Hopes were high at the start of the season because of the relative success of the 2011 campaign, and many of us scoffed at pundits who dared predict the Timbers might finish in sixth place in the Western Conference.
It's been a grim year. With Kenny Cooper being traded to the New York Red Bulls and thereafter scoring goals like a mad man, Troy Perkins (a fan favorite) being traded and publicly dissed by Gavin Wilkinson, and John Spencer being fired it's been a whirlwind of crap that Portland Timbers fans have had to deal with this year.
The Portland Timbers practiced today at Jeld-Wen Field ahead of their Cascadia Cup match up with
the Vancouver Whitecaps tomorrow night. While the Whitecaps are still in a strong position to
compete for a playoff berth, the Timbers only remaining chance at glory this season is a victory
over their Cascadian rivals in Vancouver and Seattle.
Perhaps not as glamorous as a marquee striker or midfielder, as what we've come to expect from
MLS teams in the recent years, but I think, if anything, these past two road games have shown that
the Portland Timbers desperately need to bring in a marquee, veteran defender to command and lead
the back line.
It has been ten days since the last time we had a Portland Timbers game to watch, but with the
changes that have been made in the interim, it seems like an eternity. Emotions will be running
high for the Portland faithful today, as, for the first time since April 2011 -- a run of 51 league
matches -- a Timbers game will start without Troy Perkins in goal.
With tomorrow's big game the first since the trading away of both Troy Perkins and Mike Chabala,
there's been a lot of opinion and suggestions coming from the fan base on what the Portland Timbers
FO should do with regards to players. Obviously, most of you probably wouldn't have traded Perkins
away, some of you probably would have traded Chabala.
Week 4 is in the book, and we have a new overall leader in the league, as well as a new addition to the weekly leader list. Allie's Awesome Team scored 77 points, with midfielder Patrice Bernier (MTL, $8.0M) leading scoring with 18 points as captain, followed by defenders Josh Williams (CLB, $5.3M) and Matt Hedges (DAL, $5.
MLS week one is in the books, and we're either patting ourselves on the back or cursing ourselves and sobbing gently in the corner. We begin with a nod to Killer Angels, whose 85 points set the B&RU pace, with the key move being making Graham Zusi the captain, and reaping the benefits with 28 points.
The Timbers held their first practice in Portland in more than a week today, returning from
their two game road trip against Toronto and New York. It was perfect training weather at the
team's Beaverton training facility as next year's designated player, Jose Adolfo Valencia, trained
with the Timbers for only the second time since joining the team and the first time since
undergoing surgery to repair the cartilage in his left knee.
"Perkins, Perkins! Give us a wave!" The loud booming chant by the Timbers Army was heard well enough by Troy Perkins as he wandered over to his net by the Timbers Army. After about 15 seconds, Perkins glanced over his shoulder and gave a small wave... From my view in section 108, I would say that Perkins' wave was almost reluctant.
Troy Perkins, Bryan Namoff, Bobby Boswell (Devon McTavish, 59), Greg Vanney, Marc Burch (Rod Dyachenko, 41), Ben Olsen, Christian Gomez, Clyde Simms, Fred, Luciano Emilio (Nicholas Addlery, 65), Jaime Moreno. These were the D.C. United starters and substitutes that took on the Chicago Fire five years ago tomorrow in what was, until now, the team's last playoff game.