Old Futbol Buffet–Battlestar Portlandia

So for part of my vacation this year I took a week off to visit the Pacific Northwest.  I am out here by myself–no wife, no kids, no work–and am checking stuff out, chiefly MLS games.  Last night kicked things off as I drove down from Seattle (Home Base) for the Portland/San Jose game.

For the pre game we went to the 442 Soccer Bar for a drink.  Tons of jerseys, flags and scarves adorn the pub, with all three TV’s showing soccer.  I want my man cave to be like this.  Unfortunately our bartender couldn’t go to the game.  His relief for the night wrecked his bike and couldn’t come in, but he gave us some tips as we headed to the match.  We then headed to the Bitter End, a pub right across the street from JELD WEN field.  We hung out with lots of Timbers’ Fans as they fueled up before the match.  I made the mistake of getting the Razz Wheat, which had a hint of raspberries.  Can’t win them all. 

I talked with a fan who had the red away jersey and asked him about him about the rose on the chest opposite of the crest.  Because Portland is the Rose City, the authentic shirts sold at the club shop have the rose.  Knowing is half the battle.  We also met a nice couple who moved to PDX after finishing school in California and Seattle.  Then it was off to the match.

I got tickets in General Admission section so that I could be among the Timbers Army.  They were in fine voice and I loved their vibe, with constant noise and smoke grenades after goals (fortunately sat away from the smoke), and of course there was Timber Joey.  I saw tons of great scarves, including Republic of Cascadia and Battlestar Portlandia.  A great experience all around.

As for the game itself, both teams looked to set up in 4-4-2, with Portland dominating the first 35 minutes, using the width of Eric Alexander to great effect.  The Timbers opening goal actually came on the counter as Songo’o charged down the right hand side and fizzed a ball across the 6 yard box from Mwanga (traded from Philly) to fire home on the half hour mark.  However, San Jose took control of the match and were dangerous heading into the break, with their #6 Shea Salinas proving a handful on the wing. 

The Earthquakes continued to ask questions in the second half but a clanger by their keeper in a battle with Danso allowed the ball to get free for Jewsbury to slide home.  2-0 to the hosts but the game was far from over.  San Jose brought on Chavez and Lenhart to turn things around, and Lenhart was a pest, getting into it several times with Danso.  Gordon, who I felt struggled all night, eventually scored after a series of deflections to set up the final 15 minutes.  However the game petered out, getting chippy and bogged down with cards and injuries, before the referee blew his whistle for full time. 

San Jose came into the match in first place in the Western Conference, so a good result for the Timbers as they try to climb out from the bottom of the pack.  They are currently eighth out of nine but are only three points behind Colorado in fifth.  Back to Seattle for me, for the game on Saturday against the Rapids.

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