Real Salt Lake vs. Timbers (Your Running Commentary)

WillJohnsonPortlandTimbers1-RSL (PortlandTimbers)

The top two teams in the Western Conference square off tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium when the Portland Timbers pay a visit to Real Salt Lake in the first leg of their conference final series (9pm, ESPN2).

The Timbers come in off a resounding victory against the Seattle Sounders, looking thoroughly dominant in beating their arch-rivals.

For RSL, their conference semifinal victory against the Los Angeles Galaxy was a breaking of a hex at home, where RSL had not won a decisive match in elimination play before.

If you will be watching tonight’s match, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.


This entry was posted in Featured, MLS Playoffs, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Real Salt Lake. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Real Salt Lake vs. Timbers (Your Running Commentary)

  1. Andre Mariner says:

    Boom. Golazo.

  2. d-bar says:

    Wow, That was a well-taken free kick!

  3. Cody says:

    Rimando with the late reaction. Still though, great shot. Will Johnson is legit.

  4. RB says:

    Ah, separate commentary thread up! Nice.

  5. RB says:

    For being such a possession team, RSL doesn’t seem to think highly of retaining possession tonight…

  6. mikeg says:

    Portland definately not on there game the whole first half. They got away from what got them here so far: possession and build up play. Portland is rushing passes that are not there or do not develope. More poise on the ball guys and shorter passes.

  7. Fredo says:

    Great movement by RSL. Will had a nice free kick but all RSL after that. Ugh, I hate ’em all.

  8. Cody says:


  9. Andre Mariner says:

    Taylor Twellman. Come on MLS. We need to do better.

  10. MikeG says:

    Let’s get a Harkes and Wynalda broadcast it crossfire.

  11. MikeG says:

    lights out Portland. Wussy defense. What a shame.

  12. Tony says:

    Why are they talking trash about seatle, the galaxy, the red bulls and how there is a skill level needed to handle the playoffs. Enough lalas and twelman give it a rest!!!! They should listen to ESPN in Spanish for real analysis and translate. These two are just annoying. Real won cause they are a good team that neutralized the galaxy attack. Give real salt lake some credit. Stop the talk about beckham he’s been gone for a long time now. Stop talking about McGee there is no guarantee he would have helped. Give credit to Portland they beat seatle. Stop talking about the red bulls they are out. If you are going to mention them then state reality when is this franchise going to catch a break with year after year of poor refs and dubious calls against lesser opponents.

    Work on your analysis. Speed kills is not analysis!!!!

    • Hal says:

      Red Bulls were the best team in MLS this year.

      People who think the best team of the season is the team that wins MLS Cup just don’t understand soccer. Like others have been saying, soccer is a sport with randomness and luck in it. And within each game there aren’t many opportunities to make up for a bad mistake or a bad twist of luck. That’s why you see top European teams lose to lesser division teams in cup matches.

      Soccer is not the NFL, it’s not the NBA or the MLB. In all three of those sports mistakes are made throughout the game and there is ample opportunity to make up for them (baseball probably less so). With soccer, one mistake can sink you in a game.

      • John says:

        The way its now Supporters Sheild doesn’t decide the best in the league because the shedule isn’t balanced the way European leagues have. There teams play everyone else home and away once and thats not the case in MLS.

      • RAMONE says:

        RBNY was the best team in an unbalanced scheduling system where their half of the league was significantly weaker.

        I am not saying they wouldn’t have still had the most points in a balanced schedule competition (we cannot know that) but their point differential over the best team in the West was 3.5% better but the West was stronger competition by 8.5% over the east. With the unbalanced schedule, you could easily argue that if Portland and RSL switch schedules with RBNY and SKC, Portland and RSL could have easily been 63 and 62 points on the season while RBNY and SKC finish with 54 and 53.

        As I have stated elsewhere, I WANT the supporters shield to actually mean the most in this league, but when your schedule is played 70+% against only half of the league and that half of the league is significantly stronger or weaker than the other half, it hugely effects the results.

    • RB says:

      Just to check: you want them to work on their analysis but yours is that RSL has been beset by “year after year of poor refs and dubious calls against lesser opponents”?

  13. Hal says:

    the 2nd leg isn’t until the 24th? WTF?

    • Brian says:

      How to ruin the playoffs: give teams two days rest befor for leg and play second leg two weeks later. With the lack if advertising I may forget the 2nd leg even exists.

    • RB says:

      Because of the FIFA international break.

      • Hal says:

        oh, right. Forgot about that. Still…pretty bad scheduling by MLS.

        We need a fall to spring schedule with winter break.

        • RB says:

          Oh yes I agree the league should’ve done better at taking that into account.

          I wonder if they liked the idea of having just 1 semifinal leg left in each conference and then the final. Sort of knockout style, I mean…

          • Hal says:

            every team should qualify for the cup and just play most rounds throughout the season and then you have a semi final and final the first two weeks after the season.

    • RAMONE says:

      There is also 2 full weeks between the weekend of the second legs and the final.

      In the next MONTH there are 3 more MLS games. Talk about setting up your season to go out on a sputter …..

      I find it shocking they could not have adjusted their schedule around this … if they just start the season 2 weeks earlier today would have been the final game. They truly are idiots.

    • RAMONE says:

      There is also 2 full weeks between the weekend of the second legs and the final.

      In the next four weeks there are only 3 total MLS games played on 2 weekends. Talk about setting up your league season to go out on a sputter …..

      I find it shocking they could not have adjusted their schedule around this … if they just start the season 2 weeks earlier today would have been the final game. Those who came up with this in the league office truly are fools.

  14. Andre Mariner says:

    Welp. ESPN MLS.

    Lost another fan for this post-seasons. If I wanted to listen to some has-been, condescending, air head I’d find some drunk at a dive bar.

    Try a focus group or two–Twellman is a wanker.

  15. Hal says:

    lets be honest..playoffs is a horrible way to decide who gets the league title. It may be done this way in Mexico but American soccer fans aren’t taking to it. The TV ratings are 0.0

    • Paul6 says:

      It’s not like regular season ratings are much higher.

      • Hal says:

        the reason the regular season ratings aren’t higher is because the whole narrative throughout the season is about who will qualify for playoffs.

        why should i tune in to the regular season if its essentially just like the nba where its all about playoff seedng? NBA regular season ratings suck too. The difference is, basketball is a sport that works well in a 7 game series format.Thus, NBA playoffs get huge ratings.

    • john says:

      Right now, you could domestically win three trophies each year (MLS Cup, Supporters Shield, US open cup). Wouldnt mind if it was MLS cup (for overall regular season winner), US Open Cup and a League Cup (like the capital one cup) so those who love the playoff format are still satisfied.

    • bryan says:

      simple minded per usual. Americans love playoffs and to suggest otherwise shows you aren’t trying to have a real conversation. and like everyone points out to you everytime you make this dumb a$$ comment, regular season ratings are no better. which suggests it’s the sport and not the structure. even European leagues and the USMNT have just started to get solid ratings.

      • RAMONE says:

        As long as we play this two conference unbalanced schedule, the meaning of regular season points is just as suspect. Almost every team in the East had a weaker schedule strength than every team in the West owing largely to the fact that there were 2 really bad teams in the East and only one in the west (thus a distinct advantage to garner more points to the better teams in the East). The East’s 10 teams had 449 total points on the year (44.9 point total average) while the West’s 9 teams had 438 (48.7 points per game).

        This is just 2013 statistics, but if you get 3 games against a horrible team like DC instead of just 1 (Toronto and Chivas were essentially equals) it is a statistically better shot at 6 more points than a team who has to substitute better competition.

        Honestly, while MLS used the excuse they wanted more rivalry games (and I think that is part of it for ratings purposes), the unbalanced schedule also justifies having conferences and playoffs.

        You cannot deny that teams go through hot streaks and hit the skids, often multiple times per season. The season is a marathon, not a sprint (Montreal – looking at you!). But until the season schedule is at the very least balanced, those marathons are like two runners going 8.7 miles on the same course, but then one gets to run on flat ground while the other takes the hilly course to the finish for the other 17.5 miles.

        This coming from someone who WANTS the Supporters Shield to be the most meaningful of the trophies … but as it stands, it is just barely above USOC (and I love that tourney, it is just too bad so many teams blow it off due to scheduling or philosophical issues).

      • Hal says:

        one more time

        the reason the regular season ratings are poor is because the narrative throughout the season is all about who will qualify for playoffs.

        get that through your tiny brain

        • bryan says:

          100% disagree. Nothing is ever black and white, simply getting rid of playoffs will not solves tv rating issues. Get THAT through YOUR tiny brain.

  16. ThaDeuce says:

    I am surprised at how thoroughly RSL is destroying a magnificent Portland team. Wow.

  17. RB says:


    RSL may be peaking at just the right time whereas Portland may in fact turn out to have done so a bit early…

  18. smokeminside says:

    After Portland demolished Seattle, I thought it would take care of RSL, too, but man this is a huge hole to get out of. But, I bet, if they had 40K fans at their match like the Sounders always do, they’d be back in it in a jiffy.

    Seriously, though, does the altitude have anything to do with this? Why do Portland always seem to be 1 attacker on five defenders?

    • RB says:

      “But, I bet, if they had 40K fans at their match like the Sounders always do, they’d be back in it in a jiffy.”

      Well played, sir!

    • RAMONE says:

      Midfield got just annihilated in the first half tonight. No communication with the outside backs. They were chasing the RSL outside mids all half long making the outside backs have to step up and open the deep wing for an easy pass to a dangerous position. Porter adjusted at half, but then the attack was rather toothless.

      Credit to RSL and Kreis and the RSL coaching staff – they clearly saw something they could exploit and did so repeatedly after Portland relaxed a little following their opening goal.

  19. RB says:

    So how about that: Saborio doesn’t see any action and RSL scores 4 in a bit if a rout. Hmmmmmm…

  20. Futebol says:

    I love RSL; they’ve got a great mix of foreign and yank, veteran and young, a great coach, a sense of identity. I hope they don’t count this fabulous result as in the bag. Good luck gentlemen.

  21. RB says:

    Whoa: reports of Portland’s death may have been greatly exaggerated!

  22. bryan says:

    what a clutch last second goal. wow. great series to watch as a neutral. we’ll pick it up in 14 days…

    • Gonad says:

      Neutral fan huh?

    • Adi from Oregon says:

      I totally agree – what a tremendous header!!! So, I would start him for the Timbers in the next game and replace Jewsbury who is too slow as a defender on the right side. With the great Portland fans and an improved midfield play, the Timbers should then hopefully get back the two goals which they gave away by very bad defensive mistakes tonight and win in regular or overtime.

      • chodilicus says:

        Interesting analysis, Adi. The last second goal should give a little bit of momentum to Portland, but the fact is they got thoroughly dominated in this game and have been owned all season by RSL, who has now scored 13 goals against the Timbers this year.

        Portland did not win either home game against RSL this year in the regular season, two ties. Portland is a nice team, unfortunately they want to play very similar to RSL but just don’t do it quite as well. It is really evident when you watch the two teams match up. RSL has now won 3 and tied 2 in this matchup this year.

        • RAMONE says:

          In the scheme of things, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year for Portland. For me we have exceeded expectations (First in the west, playing in WCF)

          If not for an at the death 93rd minute goal by RSL and Rimando standing on his head in the last game when Portland held them for 90 minutes without a shot on goal they would have gone 1-1-1 if not 2-1-0 against them). They dominated us tonight. They dominated us at the end of August when we were beat up something fierce (the game Valeri got hurt in and has been ever since), played a weird lineup and 10 men for over half the game.

          These may sound like excuses / justifications. We got absolutely destroyed tonight and I give RSL all all the credit in the world for that. Honestly very impressive they could play 120 minutes less than 72 hours ago and come out like they did … but I truly don’t think we are that far behind. Rio Tinto has been a house of horrors for the Timbers since we came into the league. Unfortunately a honorific gaffe by Futty tonight opened the flood gates again.

  23. RAMONE says:

    Portland lucky to be only down 2 given the horrible defensive effort on the night.

    Not happy to be losing by 2 goals for 2 weeks.