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Tag Archives: Diego Chara

The streak is over: remembering.

A year ago, we lost a stupid game at Rio Tinto. A hat trick from Alvaro Saborio and a Diego Chara red card sealed our fate and, as we would know less than 48 hours later, the fate of wee John Spencer. In light of that, I’m thinking the Columbus loss doesn’t seem so bad.

A year ago, I wrote this thing. I was just starting to realize the doom and gloom that being a Timbers supporter could sometimes bring. Two days after that, we were without a coach, without a plan, and without any of the hope and expectation with which we’d begun the season.

A year ago, we had a week to gear up for a home match against the Galaxy, same as we do now. And I’m going to go ahead and call it: the result will be much, much different than last year’s result.

Let me insert here a short note for any Timbers who may read this: under no circumstances do I want to see any Robbie Keane cartwheel goal celebrations in the North End. Shut that shit down. I have no patience for it.

We’ll be without Kah this time around, as we were without Chara last year, due to the red card. And we’ll be without a national team player or two. But, unlike last year, I’m not concerned. If we’ve learned anything about this team, it’s that they will fill the spaces that need to be filled. They play with heart, something sorely lacking in last year’s squad.

Our unbeaten streak ended in Columbus at nineteen games. Meh. Remember: Salt Lake began last summer’s winless streak. From that point forward, we didn’t win a match until the end of August: nine games without a win. I can’t imagine this current team going into a tailspin like that. It won’t happen. Will Johnson will strangle someone with his bare hands before he would let that happen. And if he didn’t? Caleb Porter would step in and give the “I’m not mad, I’m disappointed” dad speech and it would be TERRIFYING.

More and more, I get the feeling that these guys know they play, above all else, for us. Win or lose, I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2013 in Timbers 2013

 

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Unfinished business: a few more words about (and to) Kris Boyd

EDIT: This was posted on Slide Rule Pass in the middle of the night last night, before word came down that Kris Boyd may be out for the rest of the season with the injury sustained at San Jose. I am, as you might expect, devastated. Read if you want. Stop here if you already saw this on SRP. Cheers!

***

I’ve been writing this for days now. I’ve only just decided to start over. Bear with me. I’m going to write fast and see if I can get the words out before they become too much of a mess. Apologies in advance.

I’ve been a little haunted since the reserves match Sunday. It was a fun game and, after Saturday (when I missed the derby to attend a memorial service), it felt…healing. It felt like going home after a long, drawn-out absence.

I never thought I’d see Kris Boyd play in a reserves match, but there we were. And he looked good. He was active and engaged and, within the first ten minutes of the match, had an assist and a goal.

And then it felt like the end.

Did we just see Kris Boyd’s last goal as a Timber?

My heart hurts to think about it.

After several games on the bench, limited minutes and a view from the sidelines of a derby match, last night’s injury against San Jose has set me on edge. Maybe that was it. Maybe that reserve match goal really was Kris Boyd’s last wearing our club’s badge.

A couple days ago, another member of the Timbers Bloggers Battalion posed this question: if I could bring back only five players next year, who would they be? I warned him that my picks would be entirely emotion-driven.

Eric Alexander, of course, because I know he can do more. Diego Chara for the effort he puts in every time he suits up for us. David Horst for the sheer fact that I want to see him beat the crap out of the OTHER Eddie Johnson sometime in the near future. Mike Fucito because I can’t help loving that little hobbit.

And, it will come as no surprise, Kris Boyd.

Boyd makes the list not just because of my ridiculous fan-crush, but because I think he has some unfinished business here.

If we go back to the Cubbie incident, we remember that Cubbie tried to paint him as the failed savior of the Timbers 2012 season and the reason John Spencer was fired. Lame.

But, watching Boyd struggle since then, it seems he took it to heart. He’s had flashes, momentary glimpses of the player he should be, but those have been few, separated by long instances of Gavin-imposed exile.

So, what happens now? The season is coming to a close, the playoffs are beyond our reach. Boyd’s one-plus-one contract is weighing on my mind.

Will he stay? Does he want to stay? Does incoming manager Caleb Porter want him to stay?

I want him to stay. I want him to succeed. I’m a sucker for a romantic comeback story and the scene is set for one here.

Here’s the thing: I loved Kenny Cooper. I will always keep a special place in my heart for Kenny. Soft-spoken, polite, misused Kenny Cooper.

And now, I wait to see what happens to Kenny’s replacement. Kenny, let’s remember, is currently among the league’s leading scorers. For another club that figured out how he works.

Here’s to hoping that we get a second chance at figuring out how Kris Boyd works. If anyone from the Timbers coaching staff needs me to point them in the right direction on this one, I’ve got a fair few Youtube videos I can point out.

So, here, because I feel I need to, a few words not *about* Kris, but to him.

Stay. If the choice is yours to make, I hope you choose to stay. The Portland chapter of your story is still being written. Don’t leave in the middle. Stay and become a legend, not just a footnote in our history.

I was there at the press conference when you were introduced to the Timbers faithful. I was there for your first goal at Jeld-Wen. I stood with you, shoulder to shoulder, at midfield during a season ticket holder event and looked up into the North End and I imagined a day in the future when I would tell my kids about this guy, this legendary Scottish striker that, by some odd turn of luck, ended up here in Portland.

I hope that, after I tell them about your rocky first year, I will be able to tell them about your triumphant comeback in your second year here, when you lead the league in scoring and lead our club deep into the playoffs.

Help me tell that story, Kris.

Give me a story to tell.

***

Since I’ve had a couple people ask today, the stupid scarf got handed off to my ticket rep on Monday. He’s assured me he will stalk Boyd until it gets signed. Above and beyond the call of duty. Seriously.

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2012 in Timbers

 

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Survival.

Survival. I think that’s what we were all focused on today. At least I was.

Genetically ginger, I melt at about 82 degrees. When I got out of my car to hop on a train to Jeld-Wen this afternoon, it was 92. MAX was blissfully empty and air-conditioned. I briefly considered staying on board and riding all the way out to Hillsboro just to stay out of the heat.

But I didn’t. I dutifully went and got my wristband and retired to the air-conditioned darkness of the Bitter End where, in a further effort to survive the heat, I drank water instead of beer.

When it came time to head back to the field and get in line, it occurred to me that I could just stay here and watch the match, in the comfort of the darkened bar, with no line for beer and no chance of heatstroke.

But I didn’t. I rallied and got in line. In the sun. In 90+ degree heat.

Because that’s how we love.

People are complaining that we didn’t get the three points. People are complaining that the pace of the game was slow. People are complaining.

Shut it. It was 92 degrees. We didn’t lose. I’ll take the point.

I got the feeling that’s what we were playing for anyway. I’d like to think our boys were playing to win, but the realist in me (a creature you probably won’t hear from often) knows that they were playing to survive.

Five-zip at Dallas was stupid. I’m still shaking my head over that. The realist, brought out probably due to this weather, was waiting for another blow-out.

And she was pleasantly surprised to make it to the half scoreless.

The other me, the Believe Beyond Reason girl, was looking to a Boyd-Richards pairing to make things work. She was disappointed to find Alexander out of the eighteen (the Realist is having chicken and egg thoughts about this: did his dinner with Kevin Hartman Saturday night put him on someone’s shit list?). She knew Dike would replace Boyd in the second, but she thought Dike would hit the back of the net at least twice.

There’s the problem: neither the Realist nor Believe Beyond Reason girl have any idea what’s in the minds of our boys. What are they playing for? Pride in the badge? Love of club? The paycheck?

Here’s what we saw today:

Kimura’s run to the North End before the match started. Again. I love him more every time he does it. It tells me he’s in it for us and because of that, I’ll forgive a lot of errors.

Franck Songo’o and his post-match angry-tweet. He’s done that a couple times now and he’s winning me over. I like that he’s pissed that he didn’t win. He should be.

David Horst is back. Less so in this match than in the last, but his presence was still felt. I’m looking to you, David, to continue to play all-out. You are key. (Also, thanks ever so much for kicking Brek Shea in the face. Job well done.)

Diego Chara. I shudder to think where we’d be without him.

So, now we have ten days to mull over a draw at home against a team we should have beaten three times. Ten days before we face the only team with fewer points than we have.

Ten days. Ten days to craft a plan that will bring us as many points as possible. I still want that playoff spot. Yes: still.

Keep it up, Rose City. Don’t give up.

Also, both Scots started and neither spontaneously combusted. I’ll call that a win.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2012 in Timbers

 

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