Well, the Red Bulls did it again and treated us to a crushing home defeat. It really does seem like The Cathedral of Football isn't much of fortress these days, as our team has lost 2 in a row at home (an three in a row, overall).
It was a tale of two halves (again) with the Red Bulls having the better of play in the first. Several chances to put this one away were not taken well but, still, it was the home team that tallied first. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 10th of the season, from the penalty spot, and the "Boys In White" looked to be heading into the break up 1-Nil. Of course, a Jamison Olave brain-fart (just kick the fucking ball out of bounds, dude), coupled with Luis Robles getting caught "cheating" to one side of his goal, meant that Portland were level just seconds before the end of the first half.
Portland took it to the Red Bulls in the second half and Maximiliano Urruti, a pretty good Argentine forward, scored his second of the game. The Red Bulls had a few great chances to equalize after that but it wasn't to be.
As Tom Faust's brother (a Timber's Army guy in for the game) pointed out in my video, this was a self fulfilling prophecy by most of us in our group. Several of us called this one a loss (usually, it's only me predicting a loss), with a couple of guys rightly predicting a 2-1 Timbers victory. At the moment, this team just does not inspire confidence, even when at home. Sadly, RBA has become the destination of choice for any MLS team looking to jump-start their MLS campaign.
If there was a bright spot to this game, it was the play of rookie Chris Duvall at the right back spot. With Roy Miller w/the Costa Rican National Team, and both Kimura and Eckersley not being in top form lately, it was up to Duvall to deputize as a starter. He came through with flying colors, earning praise from the punters as well as from the press (More praise for Duvall in this one and in this one). It's only one game but we can only hope he has many more such outings in the near future.
I'd like to also give an honorable mention to the great play of Ruben Bover. Bover, who hasn't seen much of the field this year (which is odd since he had a great pre-season), came in as a sub, in the 76th minute, and had an immediate impact. Hopefully, Mr. Petke will reward him with a start in place of the out-of-form Eric Alexander. Or not. We'll see.
All righty then! See the top video for the usual drunken comments and predictions. You can click here for a great photo album, courtesy of Matt Kremkau (slide show here). An away match, @Sporting KC, is in the cards (this Tuesday). Let's pray for a favorable result. Will see you next time @The Cathedral of Football, Red Bull Arena (built by Makita). The big viper is outtahere!