Forgive me. I didn't want to sit through this game again. You have got to understand its an ESPN televised game which means having to try and ignore the stupid scroll for two hours. Plus the announcing, while not bad, is incredibly boring. Do these guys like the game? I have no idea. Would it have killed them to let Max Bretos call this game so I could have gotten over the top goal calls? I may be the only person on the internet to love Max Bretos' announcing and I want it back. There should be a special Max Bretos alert I can set up in google for when he is going to announce an MLS game.
Oh right I should talk about this game. Ugh. I just need to remember I'm doing this for archival historical purposes. I will be there for the poor saps who want to read about an awful game that happened in 2011.
If you want, please feel free to follow me after the jump. Or don't. This game was bad and you know that already. My apologies for opening old wounds.
Portland vs Chicago game notes
John Harkes and Ian Darke on the call for ESPN 2.
Rainy,wet, slick fieldturf.
Venue: Municipal Stadium: Portland (Take your corporate name and shove it).
- Portland starts with the ball, quick long ball that Johnson collects at the edge of the box. Cooper weak shot on goal handled by Johnson.
- Foul on Portland near the Fire box.
- Fire with throw in near box, leads to nothing.
- Gibbs with late tackle on Cooper foul called.
- Sean Johnson punches the ensuing free kick away. Probably could have caught that. Nyarko just misses connecting with Puerari. Dear John Harkes the Fire were never going to replace DLC last season, it was if he was going to leave or not.
- Mike Videira sprays a pass out of bounds.
- Videira called for the trip. Portland continues with possession.
- Gibbs nice take away in the midfield. Passes out to midfield that eventually leads to turnover. Jeremy Hall puts a weak shot wide of goal.
- Nyarko and Puerari combine down the sideline but Nyarko's pass is intercepted in the box.
- Cooper gets free on the touch line slipping past Gibbs and then a slide Sega. Shot is pushed out by Johnson. Quick corner leads to great save by Johnson on a Steve Purdy curling rocket.
- Jewsberry with the ensuing corner Cooper heads it in but the ball went out of bounds off the corner. Excellent call by the linesman. Not Johnson's best moment here, needed to be stronger on the oncoming Cooper.
- Fire give away possession again as Pappa misses a 1-2 with Sega. Note: Harkes doesn't think much about rules does he?
- So far the Fire can not hold any possession.
- Pappa and Sega combine nicely down the line to win possession in the defensive third.
- Diego Chaves wins free kick: Not the greatest free kick by Pappa but earns a deflection for a corner.
- Chaves gets his head on the corner nudging it towards the far post. Nyarko can't get his head on it. Good corner. Sega chops down Cooper and things are popping off! Cooper overreacts like the hot tempered guy that he is. Segares gets a yellow. There was an injured Fire player down near the mid-circle. Sega playing his roll as team enforcer right there.
- An entire minute getting things sorted out.
- Jewsburry on the ensuing free kick. Nyarko earns free kick as he is tripped up on the counter. The entire team is pissed at Salazar.
- Pappa earns throw-in that Pause manages to kick out of bounds on a pass to nobody. Oh my.
- Offense bounces back a bit with Nyarko combining with Chaves and Puerari to no avail. Videira gets back and strips the ball away but fails to put it out of bounds and Timbers retain possession.
- Videira with silly foul in offensive third.
- Puerari heavy first touch lets him down at the top of the box. Fire maintain a bit of possession. Throw in ends up in a corner. Puerari's touch is not good tonight.
- Corner headed away. Puerari gets the ball but ends up kicking it off his own leg out of bounds. He just doesn't have it tonight.
- Nice cross by Nyarko handled by keeper. Pappa was in a dangerous position if that would have gotten through. Good play by the keeper. On ensuing goal kick Nyarko earns free kick that is taken quickly. Puerari mis hits a pass and kicks it out of bounds. Again lost possession.
- Nyarko earns free kick. Long free kick hits Pappa on the chest in the box but he can't control it well and the keeper grabs the bouncing ball.
- Pappa earns free kick just outside the box. Decent free kick from Puerari but it is headed away.
- Don Garber being interviewed. I wish he would just shut up. Hey Don how about realizing your ESPN TV deal is horrible for your league. Fix that. Free kick earned by Sega.
- Anibaba with a turnover in the offensive third. Leads to 11 falling down and getting ignored as a man to mark by Videira. He gets the ball gets up and makes a terrific pass to Perlaza who takes the ball into the box, cuts back shaking Pause. Pause then runs into Johnson and Johnson can't get down in time to make the save and its an easy finish for Perlaza. 1-0 Portland. Videira with some casual defending after 11 gets up. Pause did the best he could but getting in the way of your keeper is not good. Still good work from Portland that interrupted a nice spell from the Fire.
- Gibbs being tended to with a head wound. Was down prior to the goal. Chaves earns free kick.
- Chaves bounces shot off Timbers player earning a corner. Good service from Pappa ably defended by Portland. Anibaba gets in Pappa's way on after the ball is headed off the service. Timbers earn possession.
- Gibbs returns to game with head wound wrap. Dasan with some slow casual defending but he ends up winning the ball away.
- Dasan inexplicably allows Perlaza to get to the ball when he could of headed it away. Nothing comes of it but poor decision making from Dasan.
- Gibbs CRUNCHING tackle in the corner earns himself a yellow. At least Cory came to play today.
- Ensuing free kick ends up being headed to a Timbers player outside the box who shoots and it gets deflected and goes in. Goal for Rodney Wallace. 2-0 Portland. Casual work from Pause on that also the defection went off of him first. Absolutely nothing Johnson could have done about that.
- Portland controlling the game right now. Wheels are falling off for the Fire.
- Nyarko hustle down the line earns corner for the Fire.
- Poor service in the box as it is easily handled by Gleeson.
- Videira somehow doesn't spray a pass wide but Pappa's touch lets him down. Nyarko earns free kick near midfield. Nyarko is working very hard here to bad the rest of his midfield is not matching him tonight.
- Yellow for Alhassan for tackle on Nyarko. Portland GM gets run because he wouldn't give the ball back to Sega. Idiocy.
- Chaves with some nice work in the box that ends up winning a corner. Puerari with nice service that Cooper is forced to head out.
- Another corner. Punch save from Gleeson. ends up being a throw in. Anibaba with a weird pass attempt that is awful. Tres minutos of stoppage. +1:Nyarko and pappa switched sides here. Nyarko almost slips a pass through to Chaves. Anibaba with service to nobody. Gibbs excellent work holding of Perlaza in the corner. ----------------------HALFTIME-------------------------
- Half time subs: Oduro is on for Puerari and Maric is on for Videira.
- Maric gets a foul called on him after getting a little physical challenging for the ball. Goal Rodney Wallace. Johnson flubs the cross and Wallace taps it in. Embarrassing work from Johnson who hits the ground to grab the ball and just drops it. The defense was caught flat footed but really not a whole hell of a lot they could do there. Clearly Johnson's error. Attention John Harkes this was not a tough play.
- Fire trying to hold possession but foul called on Pappa for a high boot.
- Pappa dives and gets no call. His diving needs to be better. Dasan leaves Johnson out to dry and Johnson runs to get the ball.
- Portland with possession a nice pass to Alhassan who puts it off the cross bar. Very lucky not to be 4-0. Anibaba was slow to close on Alhassan.
- Maric crunches Cooper completely missing the ball. Perlaza gets the ball in the midfield makes a great pass to Alhassan who misses the entire net with a horrible shot. This should have, at the minimum, forced a save. Again lucky that this game is not 5-0 at this point.
- Pappa with a frustration foul as he throws an elbow at Alhassan's arm. Nyarko earns free kick after bringing the ball down nicely from an Anibaba cross field pass. Yellow shown to Hall for the tackle.
- Chaves takes the ensuing free kick and puts it off the bottom of the wall. Fire trying to hold possession but failing to find consistency.
- Nyarko with a nice through ball that Oduro could not catch up to. Still nice combination. Chaves is dropping deep into the midfield to win the ball. Unfortunately he is turning the ball over a bit.
- Dasan works to win a header, Maric picks up the ball in the midfield and lumbers forward taken down from behind by Jewsberry. Jewsberry shown the yellow. Jewsberry tried to pull out of the tackle otherwise might have been a red. Maric comes back in a bit later.
- Ensuing free kick lobbed into the box but cleared away. Cooper with a cross that goes over the end line. Goal Kick.
- Maric gets the ball in the midfield from Marco Pappa who is working hard on both sides of the ball and promptly makes a nice pass to Chaves. Chaves puts in a terrific through ball to Oduro who has a clear shot on goal but Gleeson makes a great left handed save. Corner for the Fire.
- Pappa with the ensuing corner but nothing comes of it. Cooper earns foul coming down the field on the counter. Free kick taken quickly. Game is being played at a very fast pace right now.
- Fire ably defend a lot of possession at their end ends up with Oduro combining with Chaves who tries to shoot but has his ball blocked out of bounds for a corner.
- Pappa's ensuing corner goes towards the near post but it is ably defended. Portland has a case of bad passing on the counter. Portland beginning to lose their offensive edge as the Fire are making a bit of a run.
- Pappa earns another corner for the Fire attempting a shot on goal while inside the box. Orr Barouch comes on for Maric who clearly was too injured to continue. Ensuing corner toward the near post cleared out of bounds. Fire get a throw in.
- Nothing comes of the throw-in. Portland comes down the right hand side of the field on the counter. Portland crosses the ball into the box and Johnson dives to grab the cross but it bounces off his hands again. This time Kenny Cooper is there waiting to smash the ball home but he completely misses the ball attempting a volley. Alhassan find the ball and puts it wide of the net. Portland really should have scored there. While watching Cooper flail away is hilarious there is no way you can leave the FrankenCooper that open inside the box.
- Barouch is playing in the midfield. Barouch gets his first touch and makes a very nice pass to Oduro or Pappa (both were heading towards the same spot) Pappa shoots and scores from just outside the box. 3-1 Actually this is an Eric Brunner own goal as Pappa essentially kicked the ball onto Brunner's foot and it went in. Still that was a deserved goal as the Fire had created some nice chances.
- Still too many turnovers in the midfield.
- Brunner attempts a long shot that comes nowhere close to the goal. Sal Zizzo comes on for Hall.
- Johnson slides out to grab a through ball. Pappa earns a throw in down the right hand side. Earns another. Barrouch with a bad turnover off the second throw in.
- Chaves with a great pass to Barouch inside the box Barouch earns the corner. Another corner cleared Portland on a 2-1 break. Kenny Cooper was offsides for 30 yards and never got himself on sides which cuased Zizzo to hold the ball for way to long and then he passed to Cooper who was 5 yards offside. Embarassing work from Cooper.
- Barouch earns a throw in. Orr is working hard. Off the throw in Chaves gets the ball near the top of the box and hits a quick shot that goes into the side netting. Unfortunate as that was a good chance.
- Pappa gets the ball off long bouncing header from Gibbs. Chaves takes a nasty knock to the head on that same play. Throw in for the Fire.
- Ensuing throw in into the box. Oduro tries to spin free and get the ball but either slips or poorly dives. Didn't really have a chance at the ball, still dangerous effort.
- Barrouch attempts a shot from the top of the box but it can't get through. Ends up being a corner for the Fire.
- Ensuing corner again cleared away. Portland staying dangerous as Purdy makes a nice run and puts a cross into the box that is ably handle by Gibbs.
- Wallace gets free down the left hand side and opts to pass back to Jewsberry at the top of the box who promptly puts the ball way over the bar. This game is still being played at a very fast pace. Very entertaining.
- Portland has counter snuffed out by a nice play from Dasan. The very white Eddie Johnson coming on for Perlaza who gets a nice hand from the crowd. Fire working in the offensive third very well.
- Another corner earned by Nyarko. Seriously this is like corner number 11. Oduro misses a header but the Fire retain posession off the corner and earn a throw in. Ensuing throw in cleared for another throw in
- Another corner earned after that throw in. That's corner 12. Punched away by Gleeson. Sega fould Purdy free kick for Portland out of their defensive third.
- Gibbs fouled, free kick earned.
- Barrouch has been solid really settling the midfield down. Pappa takes a throw in towards chaves who passes towards Oduro who makes a run on the right hand side of the box. He cuts it off shows a little control faces up his man and then makes a nice pass to Pappa inside the box. At this point Marco is relatively unmarked for a clean shot on goal. He does have three players converging on him. Fancy dribble to the side and then he hits a soft curling shot that Gleeson gets a hand on but its not enough as it goes in the upper left hand corner for an absolutely stunning goal. 3-2 with 10 minutes remaining and we may have a game on our hands. Marco lets out a defiant scream after it goes in. Excellent game from him tonight.
- Portland really paying for their turnovers right now but fine play from the Fire midfield is helping to cause those turnovers. I can state this enough but Videira was absolutely terrible in the first half from a turnover perspective.
- Darlington Nagbe on for Alhassan.
- Goal Portland 4-2. This was the ugliest goal you will ever see. A skirmish around Johnson after a header into the box off a corner. On the replay it looks like Cooper handles the ball and then gets his hands on Johnson. Dasan eventually gets the OG while trying to clear it. An unfortunate play for the Fire as it looked to be a foul or a handball. On a very slow motion replay it was a clear handball and then after that it looked like Cooper fell down on top of Johnson. I would like to see Johnson be much stronger there putting himself into an obvious position to get fouled.
- Portland still pressing for more. Corner for the Timbers.
- Anibaba with a terrible decision near the Portland goal line as he puts a cross out of bounds instead of making the easy pass to Pappa who is playing great.
- Marco called for a foul on what looked like a wacky judo kick at the ball that missed and kind of hit a Portland player.
- Marco lazily waits for a pass from Barouch that is intercepted by a Timbers player. First glaring error of the night for Pappa. 3 minutes of stoppage.
- Cooper hilariously misses another ball this time in the middle of the field. Cooper is incredibly over rated. Really.
- Mercifully this game is whistled over.
So this was not a good game by any means. Guys who I thought played well: Oduro, Barouch, Chaves, Nyarko, Pappa
Guys who didn't play well: Mike Videira, Dasan Robinson, Jalil Anibaba, Sean Johnson, Gaston Puerari (touch was off). So yeah defense needs to clean some things up. I'd really like the defensive midfielders to stop turning the ball over. That would really help.
It is pretty evident that the midfield combination of Logan Pause and Mike Videira is going to have to change. Videira is just to turnover prone and Logan is really at his best when he focuses solely on defensive work behind an attacking midfielder. Paladini or Husidic should be given a start in the middle. Defensively things are very thin behind Gibbs, Sega, and Mikulic. Stephen Kinney can not get healthy fast enough. I'm fine with continuing to start Anibaba as he will learn from his mistakes and become a fairly competent right back as the season wears on. Also it avoids starting Dasan Robinson in that spot. Of course Ristic could also play there and he might be the better option if he is healthy.
Not finishing on one of 12 or whatever many corner kicks really sucks. None of them were really even dangerous. Not like I should be really surprised as the Fire opt for much smaller strikers up front but its pretty glaring when Barouch comes on how small our strike force is. This team is excellent at earning corners I'd like to see someone step up and finish one of them.
On the bright side this team shows lots of heart trying to fight back from a 3 goal deficit. Frankly this team had no business getting within 1 goal of tying this game. So good on them for that. Last year's squad would have turtled up and died. Eventually that hard work and heart is going to turn into some points. We just might have to wait awhile for that to happen on a consistent basis.