The Portland Timbers, to adopt au courant Pentagon/White House lingo, "turned the corner" last night, posting a majestic 0-0 draw against the Toronto Lynx. Portland's resolve was not sapped! The defense stood up to the fearsome Toronto attack, which has scored several goals this year, and preserved what manager Chris Agnello called "a decent result."
Hmm, a decent result. Yes. I suppose NOT LOSING to what is probably the worst professional football team north of Honduras is the decent thing to do. The momentum going into our six-game home stand...you can taste it!
Timbers fans, in addition to savoring one precious point from the team's two-game eastern swing, are pondering The Mystery of the Rio Grande Connection. The club's two signature offensive players, Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar and Byron Alvarez, didn't even make the substitute list last night. Alcaraz-Cuellar came off in the 55th minute against Yes Virginia, There Is A Pro Soccer Team in Town FC, while Alvarez—who has struggled badly this year—didn't play or make the squad for that match either. What's going on? Have these two players, who've been a large part of the team's heart and soul for years, reached the end of their run in green and white? (On top of that, Alvarez's usual strike partner, McAthy, was dropped, too.)
Hey, I get it—our team sucks, we've been losing game after game, and the squad needs a shake-up. And of course, it's possible that unknown injuries, family emergencies or a diabolical strategy is responsible for Hugo and Bryon's disappearance. Whatever the case, if they're nearing the end of their time with the team, I hope Agnello does the decent (there's that word again) thing and gives them a proper send-off. Both have made big sacrifices to be part of this penny-wise, pound-foolish club, spent lots of time with fans, played their proverbial hearts out. They deserve a bow.
Next Friday, the woeful Minnesota Thunder come to the Park Formerly Known As Civic Stadium—pretty much the definition of a must-win match. Who will we see on the rock-hard artificial pitch?