Portland's season is down to celebrating just scoring to forge a draw
Aug. 5, 2012 / By Mike Donovan, oregonsports.com
The Timbers finally were able to put a ball in the back of the net, but Jack Jewsbury’s left-footed rocket was not enough to prevent Portland from failing to win in its sixth straight game.
Playing in the hottest home game this season, the Timbers came out in the same lineup that produced many chances against Chivas USA, but no goals. While Franck Songo’o had a second straight good match, Brent Richards wasn’t a presence like in last Saturday’s match.
Songo’o has been a consistent attacking threat in the last few games for the Timbers. His seven shots were the most by a Timber since they became a MLS franchise. However, none of his shots challenged Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman and Songo’o’s streak of not scoring in a league match is now 1,268 days old.
Songo’o’s offensive presence was a much-needed spark for the Timbers, who had some players struggle in the 90-degree heat.
Kris Boyd was nowhere to be found during his 61 minutes on the pitch. Boyd had just four touches during his hour-long stint. And, while his free kick did force a diving save by Hartman, the Timbers will need to see more production to justify his contract, which is five times more than any other Timber.
General Manager/interim coach Gavin Wilkinson blamed the heat for Boyd’s performance.
“Kris played the game in conditions that maybe unsuitable to him,” Wilkinson said. “Maybe we got to do a better job of getting him on the ball and he’s got to do a little better job to find the ball.
“I don’t think the conditions were ideal for Kris today.”
Despite their striker’s poor performance, Portland was still able to get 21 shots off, which is the most this season for the club and second most as an MLS club. Ten of those shots came after Dallas’s Zach Loyd was sent off for a second yellow card.
Loyd was beat on multiple occasions by Songo’o. Loyd’s struggles came hours after his former college teammate Kirk Urso passed away.
Urso, who was in his rookie season with the Columbus Crew, was former college teammates with both Loyd and Dallas starting defender Matt Herges. Urso was honored with a moment of silence before the match.
Jewsbury’s goal was the first for the Timbers in 370 minutes, which is the longest in the MLS this season. Portland now has the first and second longest goal-less streaks in the league this season.
In addition, the 79th-minute goal was the first home game-winning or game-tying goal in the final 15 minutes for Portland as a MLS club. Portland now looks to end its MLS-record 697-minute goal-less streak in away games, as it travels to Toronto on August 15.
The matchup will feature the bottom clubs in each of the MLS’s respective conferences.