By Sheba Rawson // @shebainpdx
It’s been a little while! What say we catch up a bit, eh?
Since we last met here, the Timbers have:
- Lost in the Open Cup to our hated rivals, the Seattle Sounders (to be more precise, a bunch of our T2 guys lost to a bunch of their S2 guys, but hey, who’s counting)
- Lost to the worst team in MLS twice in a row, a feat which was only possible because, thanks to our loss against the Colorado Rapids, they were no longer the worst team in MLS, which left Minnesota United with the honor of being the worst team in MLS the following week (to whom we subsequently lost as well)
- Gone up a man at home and carried a 2-1 lead into extra time against our hated rivals, the Seattle Sounders, only to give up the stoppage time equalizer to one of our favorite villains, Clint Dempsey
All of this with the additional bonus of having an injury report that is practically a starting eleven of its own, with Liam Ridgewell, Diego Chara, Amobi Okugo, Jack Barmby, and possibly even Darlington Nagbe ruled out for our game against Sporting Kansas City, who, by the way, are leading the western conference and have lost at home approximately zero times this year. (Oh, did I mention that stalwart defensive midfielder David Guzmán has joined the Costa Rican national team and will also be out for the duration of the international break?) Serviceable utility man, all around nice guy, and ukulele player Zarek Valentin has even trained at holding midfielder this week, a position that, as far as I can tell, he has never played professionally. This is where we find ourselves, folks.
I know. It sounds ridiculously hopeless, right?
First: the season is long. I remember 2015. I remember when we got our butts HANDED to us in June 2015 by the Los Angeles Galaxy. That 5-0 loss gave me the rare opportunity to throw a bitter shout out to my friends at Real Oviedo in northern Spain, who have a special name in Asturian (jorobu) for a 5-0 loss. I was convinced we were in for another horrific finish to the season. I was posting pictures of the dreadful pity banner they made the guys march around the field at the end of 2012. And then…this happened, just four months later:
Second, I believe in magic. I do believe beyond reason. I do believe the magic is real. I have seen it, more than once. I saw it in the playoffs against the Sounders in 2013.
I saw it in the penalty shootout against Sporting Kansas City in 2015.
And I saw it again in the MLS Cup final in 2015, when Diego Valeri scored the fastest goal in MLS Cup history.
I guess my point is: yeah, things look pretty grim at the moment (okay, REALLY grim). But we have been here, and worse, before. And there is plenty of time for a little magic. I still believe…beyond reason.
See you on Saturday for BBQ Away, folks.
Featured image courtesy: Disney
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