Despite pushing so many men forward, it was hard to break Chivas USA's stout defense. Teal Bunbery came free on a free kick to volley in the winning goal.
On October 12, Portland clinched the MLS Supporters' Shield for the first time, ensuring qualification for the 2014 CONCACAF Champions League! Manager Nathan Limior said on Twitter that he was proud of the achievement, but that they weren't done yet, they needed to win the MLS Cup.
Portland Timbers 1 - 2 Vancouver Whitecaps
Unlucky to lose with such an advantage and Vancouver only having two shots on goal.
Portland Timbers 5 - 0 Colorado Rapids
The 4-1-4-1 with target man tactic worked to perfection. Portland played a patient short passing game up the field, inevitably finding Valencia free in the box numerous times.
October 23: Sebastian Kehl suffered a back strain and will be out 4-5 weeks.
We won the Supporters' Shield early in the month, so this month was mostly about getting some younger players minutes before the playoffs.
First Leg: Seattle Sounders 2 - 1 Portland Timbers
Eddie Johnson was well neutralized, and we had possession, but Seattle made more of their fewer chances and came away with this one.
Second Leg: Portland Timbers 3 - 0 (4 - 2 on aggregate) Seattle Sounders
You know it's your lucky day when one of the best strikers in MLS misses a penalty against you, and you make one of your own. Portland made the most of their chances, while Seattle battled injuries and ineffectiveness, ending the match with only 9 men on the pitch. An early blow for Portland was the injury of Valencia, forcing Teal Bunbury to come on, but it was Leanderson who took over the match, positioning himself for a goal, then converting a penalty.
MLS Cup Playoff - Conference Final Bracket
On one hand, you have the Western Conference. The dominant conference in MLS right now, where the favorites took control in the semifinal, and will meet each other again in a repeat of last year's semifinal, which Real Salt Lake won. Portland is definitely looking for revenge. On the other hand, you have the New England Revolution and FC Toronto knocking off DC United and New York Red Bulls, respectively, causing the shock canning of their managers. Two teams that didn't expect to be there, and New England, the top offense in MLS, they will definitely aim to prove they belong.
After the heights he has taken the Portland Timbers to, it wouldn't be unexpected for European clubs to come calling for the former United States international. Don't expect him to respond kindly, though. "It's kind of rude to send me a job offer when I'm in the middle of accomplishing something special here with Portland, isn't it? I'm in my early 40s, I've got plenty of time in the managing game. I want to cement Portland's status as a club first. I won't be going anywhere for a while." The latest clubs whose advances were rejected by Limior are Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais and Bundesliga side Werder Bremen. "It's an incredible new challenge and I'll take it on in due time, of course," Limior stated, "but I want to win MLS Cups and the CONCACAF Champions League for Portland. This is Soccer City USA, these fans definitely deserve it. They've helped us tremendously!"
Playing on only two days of rest against anyone is going to be tough, let alone Real Salt Lake. Bunbury got behind the line to score a goal, and while Real Salt Lake controlled the run of play, their goals were on set pieces, one corner, one penalty, scored by the same player. There were too many tired players, and they succumbed to fatigue.
Second Leg: Portland Timbers 3 - 0 (4 - 2 on aggregate) Real Salt Lake
Relief goalkeeper (Makaridze was off on international duty for Georgia) Brad Friedel didn't have much to do, with Real Salt Lake having 0 shots on goal. Kyle Beckerman was the weak link here today, conceding a penalty, and failing to mark Chara who got the third goal in to seal it.
MLS Cup Final Bracket
Like the last time I did a MLS story, the New England Revolution made the MLS Cup final in the second year. Unlike the last time I did a MLS story, I'm not controlling New England, I'm controlling their opponent. Like last time, will New England's opponent win? They have a great attack, but I am confident that my 4-1-4-1 will get the result I desire.
Two teams gunning for their first MLS Cup, but New England has a more tortured history. The big news days before the big match is Portland's Leanderson spraining his wrist days before the big match. Leanderson insisted on having an injection to be able to play in the game. He said, "How could I call myself a footballer if I opted out of the final when I could have played? It's football, I don't need a wrist for football."
Portland Timbers 2 - 1 New England Revolution
New England is snakebitten once again! They took the lead early on with a Bengtson header off a corner kick, but Valencia worked his magic and wreaked havoc on New England. Kevin Alston conceded a penalty, but Leanderson, unusually, missed. Diego Chara was double booked, giving New England a man advantage, but Valencia scored the winning goal. A silly mistake by Duenas allowed New England a corner in the waning seconds of the game, but Portland headed the ball clear, and Herrera went on an amazing run. The ball was tackled out of bounds, but the throw in took off precious seconds that gave Portland the victory.
MLS Cup Final Bracket
I HAVE EXORCISED MY MLS DEMONS! I mean, I couldn't have scripted it better, beating my last MLS team to overcome my MLS Cup demons.
Kevin = A player for the future, which can give very good performance.
Pierce = It's an ok central defender quite modest, but is likely to grow.
Russel = Do not know what to say about it, is quite modest.
Alex = Much better than Pierce, you have two defenders for the future now, take care of them.
Dana and Andy = Modest player .
It was continental competition that lured Diego de Souza Carballo to Portland, as the 29 year old left winger currently playing for San Luis in Liga MX agreed to a two year, $350,000/year contract with Portland that will begin after his contract with San Luis expires at the end of June. The Uruguayan national made his feelings known when he tweeted "I am excited to play in the CONCACAF Champions League! #Timbers" Diego de Silva isn't the fastest player, but he has great agility and is a very technical and mental player. He hasn't had good outings in Mexico and South America for a while, so hopefully a change of scenery and a different level of competition will help him thrive. He only speaks Spanish, but a great many players on the Timbers speak Spanish, so he is sure to fit in well.
- Jack Jewsbury's contract is expiring and he was made available in the MLS Re-Entry Draft. He was taken by the Colorado Rapids.
- Portland have signed defender/midfielder Yannik Schulze to a developmental contract
- Brad Evans traded to FC Dallas for Chicago's 4th overall pick in 2013 MLS SuperDraft
- Rodney Wallace traded to Houston Dynamo for their 1st overall Superdraft pick and their 2016 Superdraft pick
- Luxambourgian left back Mica signed with Portland for $68,000/year
- Matias loaned to Charlotte Eagles until end of season
It was looking bad early when Charleston scored, but in the second half, Portland came out dominating on setpieces, leading to two goals off corners. Kevin Barmby showed his potential on interceptions in Charleston's own third, which led to one goal off of a bad backpass. Finally, Charleston's defense conceded a penalty, leaving Leanderson to slam the door shut on Charleston.
Ryan Cronin is out with a hip injury. Portland sent him to a specialist to treat the injury, so he will be out 3 months. This is a worrying development for Cronin, who suffered a torn hamstring last offseason.
Harrisburg City Islanders 1 - 1 Portland Timbers
We were really playing with kids here, and it showed how much more seasoning they need when they struggled against a lesser side. There will definitely be some growing pains this season, but I think we have enough veterans to overcome it.
Rochester Rhinos 0 - 3 Portland Timbers
Alonso Herrera worked well as the target man here, racking up two goals. Carlos Rodriguez also did well here, notching up the third goal. I don't think I've given him a fair shake, he's been playable, but stuck behind Bekker, Wallace, and Johnson. Wallace is gone now, so maybe he can crack the lineup now.
Orlando City SC 0 - 0 Portland Timbers
A dull game with not much action, the team seemed more interested in taking long shots than patiently passing down the field. Diego Chara had the best chance at goal, but missed it.
San Antonio Scorpions 1 - 4 Portland Timbers
San Antonio were beset by injuries at the start of the game, including a 1' goal by Valencia after Dzafic was forced off, but play continued on since he was behind the play. Johnson's goal was particularly impressive, a 30 yard screamer, and the Scorpions embarrasingly scored an own goal when the ball was headed into their own net off a corner.
Yannik Schulze will be out 3 weeks from February 22 as he suffered a gashed leg. It prevents him some getting some last game time in the friendly, but won't hurt us too much since he'll be a reserve once the regular season begins.
February 25: Jurgen Klinsmann made two surprising callups to the US squad for a friendly against Paraguay: Darlington Nagbe, and in a bit of a shocker, Alonso Herrera! Herrera is just 18 and it's an amazing achievement if he could get his first senior cap so young. Also, Santiago Castano, Kevin Barmby, Russel Canouse, Timothy Agbonifo, and David Moreno were called up to the U-20 squad. Juan Carlos Duenas was an injury replacement, as well.
Will Johnson, Kyle Bekker, and Doneil Henry were called up to the Canadian squad, Giorgi Makaridze was called up for Georgia, and Mica was called up for Luxembourg.
Portland Wins Weighted Lottery
February 26: Portland wins center back Dusty Dove in the Weighted Lottery. Portland cannot make any more Weighted Lottery claims for the rest of the season.
Tampa Bay Rowdies 1 - 2 Portland Timbers
Just a final scrimmage before the real season begins. With all the talent at my disposal, I feel like I am on the verge of a real dynasty.
MLS Registration Deadline
Alex Garcia was cut to fit under the cap of 20 senior players. As much as I wanted to keep him, the numbers didn't work. In addition, with a full squad, Portland declined to take players in the Waiver Draft.