At about the 18 minute mark, I decided I’d be perfectly happy with a scoreless draw.
A point is a point and, with Diego Chara having been bounced from the game in the 12th minute, that point was looking pretty good.
But it wasn’t enough.
The second red card of the match, this time to the opposing team, was drawn late in the first half and that scoreless draw I’d settled on suddenly didn’t seem like it was even an option.
Three goals in the second half came from three Timbers. None came from the visiting team.
Three goals, three points.
That was fine, that was great. But what came after is what was important.
You never know what you’ll get from Caleb Porter in the post-match presser. Today, we got philosophical, introspective Porter. Aside from Angry Porter, this is my favorite of the Porters.
Here’s the condensed version:
We stay locked on to the next game and that’s what we did today and that’s what we’re going to do for the next 10 games. We’re gonna play at our level. We’re not going to play at our current reality, where we sit in the table….We have to fight that natural inclination because we’re a lot better team than we’ve shown this year.
We’re going to play at our level. This is an acknowledgement and a declaration that this team is more than the standings show. We have expected more, but we’ve been disappointed. But Porter sat there in that room and said it out loud. This team has more in the tank than we can possibly imagine.
Let’s take a breath for a minute here. Get a beverage. Get a snack. Then read this next part.
Winning in sports is a lot about psychology. It’s about individual psychology, it’s about collective belief….We’re gonna go in the next game and…not think about what everybody else thinks about us because that doesn’t matter. What matters is what we think about ourselves.
Exhale deeply. This is our coach, our leader. This is the man entrusted with the reputation of the badge and the pride of the city. He’s loosening the reins. He’s getting ready to let this team take the bit in its teeth and run.