As the season rolled on for the Portland Timbers, they encountered a couple of bumps along the road in the month of July but were never truly knocked off track.
Though the rhythm of games was somewhat altered a bit by internationals and friendlies, Caleb Porter and the team went through a July that created one of the most exciting victories in Timbers’ history.
- INFOGRAPHIC: The Portland Timbers 2013 season
Here’s how the fifth month of the season unfolded:
SAVE: Ricketts denies Juninho rocket
The month didn’t start off well as the Timbers had Pa Modou Kah sent off in the narrow loss away to Columbus Crew. That was one of two losses with the other coming at the end away to San Jose Earthquakes. Sandwiched between those games was a dramatic stoppage-time win at home to MLS champions LA Galaxy and a draw on the road to Philadelphia Union.
7/3 – Portland Timbers 1-0 Morelia (Friendly)
7/7 – Columbus Crew 1-0 Portland Timbers
7/13 – Portland Timbers 2-1 LA Galaxy
7/20 – Philadelphia Union 0-0 Portland Timbers
7/24 – Portland Timbers 1-0 Norwich City (Friendly)
7/27 – San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Portland Timbers
SAVE: Ricketts off his line to stop Zardes
Many people would pick out Andrew Jean-Baptiste’s late winner in the game against LA Galaxy was the standout moment of the month, but Donovan Ricketts edges it for his tackle on Gyasi Zardes when rushing off his line to deny the young striker. That excellent piece of sweeping came shortly after making a superb save from Juninho’s free-kick to remind supporters just how crucial the big Jamaican is to the Timbers.
Rarely one to make headlines or hog the spotlight, Harrington nevertheless is the type of player who coaches rely on and teammates trust. In his first season with the Timbers, he made the left back spot his own leading the team in 2,951 minutes played. Harrington excelled in the month of July as he combined his defensive duties with getting forward to contribute to attacks with overlapping runs and support play.
Where it left the Timbers?
Two defeats from four regular season games set the Timbers back, but it wasn’t as if they tumbled down the standings – they only dropped to second place in the Western Conference. On the horizon in August was the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal with Real Salt Lake.
They Said It:
Caleb Porter after the team’s 2-1 win over LA on July 13:
“You gain belief through success, and when you’re in a game like this, where you have two very good teams and it’s tight and the margin of error is slim—you’re one play away from losing the game, you’re one play away from winning the game—winning teams give a little bit more. Losing teams shrink. We grew.”