The Portland Timbers needed a win in the worst way and with the pressure of fighting for their playoff lives looming, the Timbers delivered a first-class performance that has fans in the Rose City dreaming of the post-season.
The Timbers rolled right through the visiting New England Revolution, scoring early and taking control of a match the Revs never seemed to have much of a chance in, as Diego Chara, Kenny Cooper and Darlington Nagbe scored goals in a 3-0 romp at Jeld-Wen Field on Friday night.
Missing starting striker Jorge Perlaza, the Timbers dominated play in putting together one of their best performances of the season.
"I thought it was some of the best football I've seen in Major League Soccer this year for 45 minutes," said Timbers head coach John Spencer. "I don't think anyone could deny us. The way we were moving side-to-side, back and wide – I thought we were a very difficult team to play against in the first 45 (minutes)."
Chara opened the scoring just nine minutes into the match when he ran onto a Lovel Palmer cross, dribbled through the Revs defense, and flicked a shot past Matt Reis to make the score 1-0.
Cooper made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute when he re-directed a Mike Chabala cross with his body for just his second goal in 21 matches.
Nagbe closed the scoring in the 66th minute when Alhassan floated a cross into the area that Nagbe headed home for his second goal of the season.
The goal capped a stellar performance from the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 MLS Draft, who started at forward in place of Perlaza. The Akron product played very well up top alongside Cooper.
"He keeps telling me that his best position is up front and I don't think he's far from wrong, to be honest," Spencer said of Nagbe. "His hold-up play, link-up play was superb. His movement was dynamic, lightening quick.
"From the first minute, you could tell the back four were very wary of his pace," Spencer said. "He was head and shoulders above anyone walking on that field tonight."
The victory moved the Timbers past D.C. United and into position for the 10th and final MLS playoff spot. D.C. has three games in hand and takes on the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
The night was a terrible one on multiple levels for the Revs, which saw their faint playoff hopes smothered with the loss, and also saw key players A.J. Soares and Rajko Lekic leave the match due to injuries. Almost as disturbing as the injuries was the flat effort the Revs showed in a first-half dominated by Portland.
"I think it took us 40 minutes before we actually had a decent line," Nicol said of his defense. "You can't play away from home and give teams two goals to start and then try and chase the game. Our back four in the first half, that's why we lost the game tonight."
Ron, we’re not talking about just one year. Rose-tinted colored glasses must be getting foggy.
NYRB would be smart to steal Nichol from NE. Sort of like how it also would have been smart to promote Williams..
Nagbe showed better holding and distribution than cooper, then he scored with a header…. COOP, can you please do the same? Stop trying to get calls and play the game.
After that performance by nagbe, I think we need to see him and perlazza up front.
BS…The Revs acquired some god talent this season. There is no way they should have lost 3-0, even in hostile PDX. They should have had at least a couple
FCD fans know how hot Coop can get when he is in form
It’s quite simple: Stevie Nichol stays because the Revs are a tax write off for Robert Kraft. Kraft needs to be reminded at the end of each year he has a soccer club.
The real question is: How can Stevie Nichol stay with an ownership group as poor as New England?
The man is a quality manager and should be a candidate when New York’s position opens. If he had ownership that cares, we’d be talking about him being the best manager in the league.
The man has made chicken soup out of chicken shi* for longer than I would wish on any professional.
i think Nagbe’s left quad might need to be checked for enhancement.
I’m with STX81. Nichol has been a great coach in the past for the Revolution, but given the past two seasons, it might be time to start looking for a change for the club. That said, I’d be willing to give him at least another half season to see how actually having players like Lekic, Caraglio, and Feilhaber as options will do. Especially if Soares can have a good year next year.
Making it to the playoff for 7 straight year or so and 3 straight MLS cup final appearances will get you a wee bit of leeway.
That being said I think it time for him to go.
We all wonder how exactly Steve Nicol keeps his job after coaching the Revs to the bottom of the league
Cooper sucks, he missed multiple good chances tonight.
Change your statement to “if they ever wise up and dump Kenny F’n Cooper”
Too much fun tonight. I love my team. I love my Army. I love my city. RCTID!
If the defense plays like this, PTFC can beat anybody. If Kenny F’n Cooper gets hot, watch out.