Friday, July 28, 2006

Timbers Approach Terminal State

This is sad. Sad, sad, sad. A proud, beloved club, the Mighty Mighty Timbers, goes down in flames to something called the Virginia Beach Mariners. The 3-1 loss, rich with indignity (the Verdebianci stuck ancient assistant coach Gavin Wilkinson into the XI; managed just three shots; removed dynamic Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar in the 55th minute; gave up an assist to the opposing *goalkeeper*), pushed the Timbers' winless streak to approximately 157.

After an encouraging midseason run, first-year manager/GM Chris Agnello's putative "new direction" looks just about set to blow apart at the rivets. He signed two fresh MLS cast-offs this week, which is either an encouraging sign of undying fight or a desperate may-day, take your pick. Does he know what he's doing? No one can tell, but the only empirical evidence is not encouraging. Agnello promised both to "build from the back" and produce a faster, more fluid and exciting futbol than the stolid English-Second-Division-Circa-1978 style that characterized the Bobbyball era. These days, we ain't gettin' either.

Over on the Timbers Army board, depression is approaching mid-winter levels. The only consolation—the only hope in sight—is that of the season's last seven games, six are at home. The last away match comes Saturday against the 3-10-3 (and likely marked for extinction after this season) Toronto Lynx. So a Great Escape to the playoffs may theoretically be possible. Unfortunately, Portland has played more games already than any team in the league, making their spawning run against the mathematical tide that much harder. One of those final games is against the fantastique Montreal Impact, which has lost just twice and is four points clear of the second-place Charleston Battery...with two games in hand.

Grim times, brothers and sisters, grim times.


Lucas said...

...stuck ancient assistant coach Gavin Wilkinson into the XI; managed just three shots; removed dynamic Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar in the 55th minute; gave up an assist to the opposing *goalkeeper*

You forgot: missed a penalty kick; and scored an own goal; and gave up a lead for the 3rd time in 4 games.

Upshot: Luke looks good.

Derek said...

And what's happened to Alvarez? Oh the mind spins. For once I'm glad we don't have the relegation system in place!

Oh well.

Lynda said...

Luke looks so good one wonders why he'd ever want to play for the Timbers again after this dismal season, alas.

Gavin Wilkinson? An own goal, too?! Man, these days "embarrassing" just isn't quite strong enough.

Zach Dundas said...

I was officially called out on my own poor performance as a Timbers fan by one of the Army's Ascended Masters last night. I promised I'd make good on a squandered season during the August homestand, which is shaping up to look a lot like the Alamo.

I'm sorry to say it, because the dude is rad and has been a fantastic Timber, but I fear Byron is headed toward the end. If you think about it, a year-round playing schedule on unforgiving surfaces, in the physical lower echelons, must tell on a body after awhile.

But today is another day, and we have a chance to nab three points in what is likely to be the USL Timbers' last visit to Toronto. Then, we're home for the run-in. Can we banish the bad mojo? Is it...the Curse of Sawatzky?

The Manly Ferry said...

The homestand will not save this team. The math is just too ugly. Either that or I have no faith (true....).

I've been a horrible, horrible supporter, though I did pop by that place next to the PGE with all the Timbers' gear on the wall (look, I don't know the name; I just drink there...and several other places...). I couldn't even tell you what color these guys wear these days (kidding; I know that one at least). Reading from a distance only Luke "Krispy" Kreamalmeyer seems to have the belief.

Oh well. Time to build again?