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Go get ’em!

My dog has been pacing for the last fifteen minutes. Back and forth, up into the kitchen, down the hall, back to me. He’ll stand and look at me for a minute, a look I can only classify as “forlorn.” And then he’s off again. Round and round he goes.

I just told him the Timbers match tomorrow is at 1 p.m. He is deeply, deeply disturbed by this.

I didn’t think he’d react this way when I told him. He doesn’t usually watch the games. Honestly, I think he might be a Blazer fan. But, as he is unable to speak English, I don’t know for sure.

The more disturbed he is about the whole thing, the more troubled I become.

I didn’t think it would be a big deal. I’ll DVR it and stay off the net for a few hours when I should be working anyway.

But really. Who am I kidding? I’m going to be completely worthless until I know the outcome.

It’s that important.

Maybe it didn’t seem like it would be that important when MLS put out the schedule so long ago. One game in the middle of the season played at a time when a great number of Timbers supporters will have to follow Twitter updates or sneak a livestream onto their work computers. Meh.

But this could very well be pivotal for the Timbers. Every game is a must-win, but this? The first road game post-Spenny? After whatever it was that happened on Saturday?

My dog is still pacing. I just set my DVR.

I posted on Twitter/Facebook yesterday about my attempt to explain why Saturday’s loss wasn’t the fault of Timbers keeper Troy Perkins. It’s a difficult concept for some. He’s the goalie, right? It’s his whole job to make sure the ball doesn’t go in, right? Right?

Well, sure, but it isn’t really that simple.

What I like most about this team is that they are incredibly accessible. So, when I posted about trying to explain that Troy was not entirely at fault, a response came directly from one of the players, a defender, who simply said this:

It was not his fault at all. We let him down.

I have never loved a player more than I did the minute I saw that post. This. This is just one of the many reasons I love this club so deeply, so madly.

And this is why I will be a basketcase for most of tomorrow afternoon.

As I said in the Boyd post last week, I expected the next chapter of the Timbers story to be written by Kris Boyd. Then he went out, got us two goals and was named Man of the Match. I’m not sure he’s done writing yet.

What I’ll be looking for (when I finally get to watch the much-delayed match) is a defense with something to prove. They know they screwed up and at least one of them has owned up to it in what I would consider a very personal way. Heart of a lion, that one. Sometime soon, I’m sure I’ll be writing about something spectacular he’s done.

So, if you’re reading this, Unnamed Timbers Defender, go get ’em. You’re welcome at Sunday night dinner anytime.

Edit: Clearly, I wrote this last night so get off my case already about the match being today. Sheesh.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Timbers

 

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Wait. What?

I have absolutely no idea what just happened.

The numbers keep playing in my head: 81% pass completion, 61% possession, 200 more passes than the opposing team. Three goals at home, including a brace from Boyd (I’m totally claiming credit for that, by the way).

And we still lost. Isn’t that something?

There were some fine performances on the pitch tonight. And there were some real stinkers. But I’ll leave that to the experts to break down for you.

Here’s what I saw:

I saw Kosuke Kimura. I saw him come to Jeld-Wen, ready to play. I saw, through misty eyes, his salute to team and TA when he came to the North End pre-match, pounding the badge on his chest. I will never, ever forget that.

I saw a changed team. I saw a team that dominated and took an early lead. I saw a team who let that lead slip away but, instead of giving up, dug in and did everything within their power to get it back.

In the end, their efforts were not rewarded. It was just a weird, weird game.

People are, as expected, having a pretty good go at Gavin. I get it. But I’m not there yet.

If the changes I saw take hold – stronger offense, more heart, perseverance in the face of great adversity – then we’re in for a really fun ride, indeed. And then there’s this: Gavin was a defender. I can’t imagine he’ll let what happened tonight slide.

So, I came out of a 5-3 home defeat not upset, not disappointed (as I just told someone on Twitter, I think this week has sucked all the disappoint out of me), but hopeful.

Hopeful and ready for what’s to come.

Except Kenny Miller to Vancouver. I wasn’t ready for that at all.

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2012 in Timbers

 

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What comes next.

We stand. We sing. We support.

That’s what we do.

But this feels different.

It seems the home opener was both three days ago and six years ago. The anxiety, the excitement, the anticipation. The race to get to the stadium after work. Though we’d just had the preseason tournament days before, it still felt like a homecoming. Hugs and smiles and spilled beer and the Greatest Tifo Never Seen in North America!

Three goals. Green smoke. Three points. For many, a deep sigh of contentment. This is it. This is where we start Spenny’s “34-Oh-and-Oh” season. WGWTL.

And here we are. Halfway through.

And everything feels new again. We’ve been through a lot this season and I hope I’m not alone in feeling like this is where we start over.

I’m sure a lot of folks are apprehensive. I’m sure some have given up, written this year off as a learning experience (as evidenced by some truly ridiculous posts on the Timbers FB page – DON’T EVER READ THE COMMENTS). What’s the cliche used by sports writers the world over? It’s a young team, it’s a building year….

Building year, my arse. Every year is a building year.

I was prepared for a nervous anxiety leading up to the LAG match. I was half-expecting to feel something akin to dread. Beckham. Donovan. Keane. Magee. Junihno. Hmm. Well.

I don’t feel that. I feel…ready.

Ready for a new day to dawn. Ready for my Timbers to be the team they were meant to be.

Ready for what comes next.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Timbers

 

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