Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Top of the League

David Hague. David Hague. David Hague. Need I say any more about Sunday night's match, which catapulted the Timbers to first place in the USL? Cameron Knowles deserves accolades as well for getting the scoring started for the Timbers, bringing us level with the California Victory after they scored on us early in the game. David Hague, a rookie kid from England who's not even a starter was subbed in for Bryan Jordan in the 67th minute and seconds later--in the 68th--scored the first of his three goals. Our three points were saved. But Hague wasn't finished; six minutes later Timber Jim helped conjure another goal by leading a chant of "in the net!" and Hague did it again. The shed went mad; at 3-1 our triumph seemed assured. When Hague blasted another one in at 88 minutes the Victory didn't know what hit them; maybe Hague didn't either and I'm pretty sure the North End had no idea. Strangers hugged and high-fived. Hat trick Hague! Hat trick Hague! It was a night for singing and drinking and singing some more, and as we floated home, the win soothing our wounds (for a little while at least) over the Argentina loss in the Copa, three homeless guys stopped us to ask how the match went. "4-1?" one of them said. "Top of the league!" we assured them. "Top of the league? Really?" another said, and could be heard telling his two friends as we continued up the hill, "I really love soccer..." And they say it'll never catch on in this country!

Match reports here (with pictures), here, and here. The Timbers play the Vancouver Whitecaps tomorrow night at 7 p.m. and the match will be televised on FSN (Fox Sports Northwest), that's channel 34 for you Comcast customers. Come out and support the #1 team in the USL!

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