"No one is BETTER than all of us TOGETHER."
This is the mantra of the Timbers. It is written on every schedule, every dress list, in the gym – everywhere. When we all work together, no one person is better than the team.
Last night, the mantra held true not only for the players on the field but for the team on the sidelines as well. I'll get back to that in a minute.
On the field, George Fochive scored the game-winning goal thanks to the team working together. You'll see Sebastián Blanco with the assist on the scoresheet, but won't see there are the runs from Felipe Mora and Yimmi Chara that occupy the space in front of the goal and distract the defenders and goalkeeper, allowing Fochive to have the open header that sent the Timbers Army into a frenzy.
I began the night by checking the weather radar over and over again. Until Friday, It had only rained 0.05 inches in Portland since June 16, and then we had a record 1.15 inches on Friday. I was thinking Sunday's could be a very wet game. It could also stay dry and the showers could miss the stadium completely.
I love when it rains. It always makes for good pictures, so I was secretly hoping we would get drenched. But, the skies cleared and it was mostly nice with a small shower here and there. Right after kickoff, it started sprinkling a little bit, however I could also see blue skies. This is typically a recipe for a rainbow, so I went up into the east side stands to try and see one.
Right around the same time, Darion Asprilla scored to put the Timbers up 1-0.
What I didn't realize at the time, was that my phone was buzzing with Slack messages saying there was a rainbow over Providence Park's North End. I never saw these messages until it was too late, and I never saw the rainbow from my shooting position on the east side. However, the club's Director of Events & Promotions, Morgan Lunz, was in a great position to see the rainbow and snapped this photo with her iPhone.
She nailed it. I was bummed to have missed it. It is such a rare thing for a rainbow to appear above the stadium while a game is going on, but I was happy that my teammates were there to capture the moment.
Later in the game, just after Fochive's game winner, I got another Slack message from Morgan saying simply, "ANOTHER RAINBOW." This time I dropped my long lens and ran as fast as I could over to the west side, ran up the stairs and down to the south end so I could see it.
It wasn't nearly as good as the one she shot earlier, but it worked. Right as I was shooting this, the Timbers put another ball in the back of the net. The crowd started to cheer, but Larrys Mabiala was called offside, and the goal disallowed. It is not often I am in the stands when a goal is scored. It makes for a fun angle.
After the second rainbow faded away, I made my way back down to the field, and during stoppage time, I wanted to get a photo of Giovanni Savarese's reaction at the final whistle. I knelt down next to the bench and followed Gio as the final seconds ticked off the clock. At the final whistle, my patience paid off, and he celebrated the win the way only Gio can.
As the team made their way around the field, I focused on Fochive and made a few frames of him before lifting his log slab with his teammates. Together they extended the Timbers' unbeaten streak to five games.
No one of us is BETTER than all of us TOGETHER ... and the Photo of the Night tonight is from Morgan Lunz.
After every PTFC match, Timbers.com publishes the Night in Pictures – a look back at the sights that defined that day’s game. Going forward, staff photographer Craig Mitchelldyer — onsite for every club home game, and more — will be providing his insight into the process, telling us how the game's standout images went from eye to lens, and lens to screen.
These were his best from Sunday, September 19’s game between the Portland Timbers and Los Angeles FC. The full gallery can be found below. Click on the module's right arrow to scroll through the night's 38 best images.