Monday, June 19, 2006

Portland Timbers Top USL Table

In the football anthology My Favorite Year, Harry Pearson writes about the disorientation of seeing your reliable, comfortably mid-table team--in his case, Middlesbrough--suddenly rocket to success:

It was stimulating, it was provocative, it was thrilling. It was all a bit much, really.

Portland Timbers head home after a long away weekend in which they collected five points, from the Minnesota Thunder (2-1), the Rochester Rhinos (2-2), and the Montreal Impact (0-0), and they now sit at the top of the USL table.* After last year's inconsistent performances and struggles just to stay in fifth or sixth place for the playoffs (and with an ever-shrinking bench that had you fearing that you as a spectator might be press-ganged into service at any moment, who could blame them?), it's almost disconcerting to taste unmitigated success. I keep looking back at the standings to make sure it's real. It's been an entire weekend of Bizarro World soccer.

Of course, I've seen the Timbers play at every home match so far this year, and I know they deserve to be sitting exactly where they are now. This team has talent, depth, and hunger, and can win the league if they keep it up.

Match reports here.

*Granted, they have played one game more than any other team in the league, which helps with standings--but still!


Zach Dundas said...

This is heady stuff indeed. With those six home games in August, we could end up with a gaudy point total indeed. Tops on my wish list for the year, though, is a win over an MLS side in the Open Cup. Can they do it? Yes they can.

Lynda said...

Ooh, I hadn't even allowed my imagination to scale those exalted heights, but yes--and possibly more satisfying than topping out at #1 in the USL.