Well, it's late, that was terrible, so time for another 'random thoughts thrown together to make something that'll end up a bit of an unorganised mess So just like the game! hey-ooooh' article.
Was 4-0 harsh? The last few minutes were an absolute gongshow, but really, Portland head been all over us throughout the second half, and good portions of the first, we were lucky it was only 1-0 so far into the game. It's a bit harsh, but really not much.
TFC actually had a decent start, Darel Russell was all over the place (in a good way) Alvaro Rey looked alright, and if Russell's shot wasn't cleared off the line, then who knows what might have happened.
Even though Portland came back into it, TFC were more or less doing alright in the first half, rarely looked like scoring, and had no possession of course but weren't terrible. Elmer looked competent, as did Agbossoumonde and Caldwell was winning everything that came into the box.
Having said that, it wasn't just a matter of time before Portland scored, it was a matter of time before Alhassan scored. He'd hit the post, hit a shot just wide from the top of the box, he was getting plenty of chances. Eventually he buried it, a poorly cleared cross fell to him in miles of space at the top of the box again, he chested it down and volleyed it in, right before the half. It had been coming.
Second half was all Portland, TFC did win a few corners, and Kocic did well to come out and stop a Wiedeman shot after a delightful Earnshaw dummy, but let's not kid ourselves, Portland had so many chances before they scored.
Wait, no we are going to kid ourselves, here's a Ryan Nelsen post game quote, via Kurt Larson. Nelsen: "We got into a nice position and they had run out of ideas. Crowd was getting anxious. Their second goal was devastating".
What? 1-0 down with 8 minutes left isn't a good position. For fuck's sake.
Anyway, we bring on Justin Braun, Portland brings on Diego Valeri. Wheeee. Now to the goals.
The 2nd. Agbossoumonde with an absolutely terrible attempt to calmly beat the attacker bearing down on him, rather than just play the simple ball, or just hoof it long. For fucks sake, it's TFC, hoof it long is what we do. Ugh. Anyway Wallace knocked it home. Luke Wileman said 'that'll be 3 points for the timbers". There was 8 minutes+ stoppage time left. We all knew he was right.
The 3rd. Eckersley had been abandoning his position to do the panicky hero thing quite a few times, this time it bit him. Completely abandoned any concept of a defensive line and played some Timbers onside. The ball eventually fell to Will Johnson, one of a few very very unmarked targets and he scored. Shocking. But not at all shocking.
The 4th. Last minute of stoppage time. Eckersley misses a simple opportunity to knock it behind for a corner, then gets absolutely owned by Valencia losing the battle in both brains and brawn, before the cross goes across the box to a massively wide open Valeri.
4 goals, all with varying degrees of defensive shitshow. A disgusting collapse.
Until the last few minutes and those 3 goals, it had been your standard TFC performance against a better team. Keeping ti more or less solid, but not looking likely to score. To be fair, that collapse was out of the ordinary, it had been only one goal conceded in the last 15 minutes in either 13 or 14 games.
What's with the lack of subs? 1-0 down late, with another game about 90 hours and 3 timezones away, and the only change made was to bring on Justin Braun, taking off an attacking player in Alvaro Rey?
With Urruti sitting there on the bench? Why? Not fit enough to start? Maybe that's right though I'm not sure I buy it, but we know he can come on for a few minutes at the end at the very least, why was he nowhere to be seen? Is this a sign that he's a Payne player, an example of the wrong direction, someone that Nelsen doesn't really want to play? If not, what the hell's he doing left on the bench?
34% possession for TFC. The Golazo stats show there was only one 5 minute period that TFC had more possession in. 264 passes to 532, that's less than 50% of what they attempted. 85% to 69% accuracy. This one really wasn't pretty.
That's now a 5 game winless streak since the Roma friendly, last year it got to 14 before the season mercifully ended, there's only 7 more this year, so 12's the highest it could go. I wouldn't bet against that.
We get to do this again on Wednesday? Ugh.