CenturyLink Man of the Match vs. Vancouver Whitecaps: Steven Smith
Last Saturday’s big 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps catapulted the Portland Timbers into pole position for the race for the ever-important Cascadia Cup. There were numerous excellent performances with Darlington Nagbe becoming the first Portland player in Timbers MLS history to score three goals in three games. Midfielder Franck Songo’o continued his strong run of play with a free kick game winning goal, and there were timely stops and defending from defenders David Horst and Hanyer Mosquera as well as goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
And yet, the most timely of all was taken care of by Timbers left back Steven Smith. Involved throughout the game in attack along the left flank as well as providing gritty tackles in the box, it was in the 74th minute that he made the save of the game.
With Vancouver pressing, Ricketts came off his line to make a great save on Vancouver’s Dane Richards. The ball popped out to Camilo who tried to loft it in. Smith, who had dropped back behind Ricketts to help, leaped high and headed the ball off the line and safely away.
And while the whole victory was a team effort, that save put him over the top. With 50% of the vote, Steven Smith is your CenturyLink Man of the Match.