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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Nagbeautiful

Posted by Brian Gjurgevich on Sun, Apr 1, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Or maybe "Nagbelievable?"

Can Darlington Nagbe score any other way but wondrously?

But oh, right, the Timbers had themselves a bit of a meltdown and surrendered two goals in the final four minutes to negate Nagbe's night and fall 3-2 to Real Salt Lake on Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field. And if you thought giving up a goal in the opening 28 seconds was a tough way to lose, well ...

Portland players stood around after the final whistle looking like they'd just survived an plane crash—mouths agape, seemingly stunned to their toned, footy-playing cores. Two morose players were already in the locker room when media filed in for: Defender Lovel Palmer sat in front of his corner locker, head in hand, staring at the wall, while striker Kris Boyd sat slumped over in front of his space, looking straight ahead into nothingness.

The latter snapped out of his daze to speak to the pack of reporters in a hushed tone. Frankly, I was a bit surprised with how hard a player of Boyd's stature and experience appeared to be taking the loss, which Timbers fans can oddly take some heart in.

"I don't know. I'm gutted, I'm disappointed," Boyd said.

That word. "Gutted."

It's not the first time we've heard it from the Timbers, whether it be in the Portland locker room, or from coach John Spencer. And as much as the 2012 Timbers don't want to talk about 2011's struggles, it's hard to avoid when some of the most glaring shortcomings (struggling on the road, conceding first, yielding late goals) have hung around.

Still, it's a long season ahead, and some positives remain. See exhibit A above, and wonder for a moment what kind of highlight reels a fully-confident Nagbe will be producing by year's end.

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