Momentum was certainly with the Portland Timbers as they went into the fourth month of the MLS season looking to maintain their impressive unbeaten run.
With the way that they were playing, there didn’t look to be any point when the Timbers might slow down as they kept on racking up points and progressing in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
- INFOGRAPHIC: The Portland Timbers 2013 season
Here’s how the fourth month of the season unfolded:
While a visit to Toyota Park resulted in a 2-2 draw with Chicago Fire, the Timbers quickly turned their attention to the U.S. Open Cup with a victory over Tampa Bay Rowdies and returning to MLS play to beat FC Dallas 1-0. Stern defending earned a point away to LA Galaxy followed by a comfortable win at home to Colorado Rapids. To top off the month, a scrappy U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal 3-2 come-from-behind victory against FC Dallas put Portland into the U.S. Open Cup semifinals for the first time in the club’s history.
6/8 – Chicago Fire 2-2 Portland Timbers
6/12 – Portland Timbers 2-0 Tampa Bay Rowdies (U.S. Open Cup)
6/15 – Portland Timbers 1-0 FC Dallas
6/19 – LA Galaxy 0-0 Portland Timbers
6/23 – Portland Timbers 3-0 Colorado Rapids
6/26 – FC Dallas 2-3 Portland Timbers (U.S. Open Cup)
GOAL: Nagbe spins and fires
Sometimes a moment happens on a soccer pitch that takes your breath away and that was exactly what Darlington Nagbe did for most Timbers fans when scoring a superb goal against FC Dallas. Picking up possession inside the opposition’s penalty area, he turned past a defender and sent a rocket of a shot past goalkeeper Raul Fernandez. It proved to be the game-winner and one of the goals of the season.
Pa Modou Kah
There was a moment in the scoreless draw with LA Galaxy when Robbie Keane played a pass in front of Landon Donovan and the Timbers defense was on red alert. If Donovan was able to take a touch, he would probably have set himself up for a goal. But across came Kah with a superbly timed sliding tackle to deny him. It was the type of interception and leadership that the new recruit became renowned for.
GOAL: W. Johnson's nifty goal vs. COL
Where it left the Timbers?
Tied at the top of the Western Conference alongside Real Salt Lake, the Timbers really were scaling new heights. Again, their defensive solidity stood out with only two goals conceded in four MLS games as they continued their unbeaten run. Even more impressive was that they didn’t lose focus on the U.S. Open Cup as they made it through to the semifinals after knocking out both Tampa Bay Rowdies and FC Dallas.
They Said it:
Caleb Porter after the Timbers came back to beat FC Dallas 3-2 on the road on the U.S. Open Cup:
“It was a total team effort. I can’t be any more proud of the guys. They continued to show me they have big hearts and brass balls, because they know how to get it done when the game is on the line. That’s the mark of a good team. When your backs are against the wall, you dig deep and you find a way. This team just continues to find ways to win games.”