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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Improvement For Portland, Except On The Scoreboard

Posted by Brian Gjurgevich on Sun, Mar 27, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Toronto.jpg
  • Abelimages/Getty Images

The better team lost on Saturday, according to Portland coach John Spencer.

And while that statement is nothing more than a coach backing his team and trying to keep it in good spirits, the fiery Scotsman is hardly in denial: The Timbers out-played Toronto FC in most statistical categories on Sunday, but in the end, the scoreboard read Toronto 2, Portland 0 and the Timbers are still winless in MLS.

More thoughts after the jump, including a Canadian-technology FAIL and EXTRA TIME links with plenty of reaction from around the Internets.

After sleep-walking through much of their opener at Colorado, an improved Timbers squad showed a bit more gusto this week. Yes, just like the opener, an early defensive lapse yielded a goal — and playing from behind is an unneeded obstacle for a starting XI still trying to build cohesion — but a few choice moments of possession and some of the attacking plays gave a glimpse of the "slickness" required if Portland is to grow into a winner this year.

There's undoubtedly frustration among fans that Portland's scored just once in 180 minutes, but I doubt any of it will rear its head on Tuesday when the Timbers return to town to face Chivas USA in a U.S. Open play-in at University of Portland's Merlo Field. Win or lose, the mini-homecoming is the next phase of the team's honeymoon with the Rose City, and warm feelings will likely extend through much of the season.

But eventually, there will come a time when the better team will actually need win the game. Eventually.

EXTRA TIME! Links to help you go green-on-green.
* The Timbers explain the technical issues that caused some first-half broadcast glitches. Summary? Blame Canada.
* Timbers Insider Kelly McClain shares his thoughts on the loss, including two Timbers who are playing their way out of the lineup.
* Mao of The Offside says the Timbers were "infinitely more engaged" against Toronto.
* MLSsoccer.com has the match highlights, along with all the pertinent stats.
* The Toronto Sun's gamer notes the opener wasn't a sellout.
* Ryan Gates of Stumptown Footy rates each member of the team, and it ain't pretty (unless you're Eric Brunner).
* The Timbers' official site rounds up post-game quotes and notes.
* Looks like rain for Tuesday's match with Chivas USA. Weird.

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