First off, apologies for this blog appearing later than planned and also the lack of activity the last couple of days. Been enjoying myself down in Oregon, well apart from the result of the game on Thursday night that is.
The Caps lost out 2-1 to the Portland Timbers on Thursday down at PGE Park in Portland, their first defeat of the season. The ever dangerous Ryan Pore did the damage with a brace and his match winner, four minutes from time, was a killer blow for the Caps after a gutsy performance where they fought back from going down to an early goal to dominate proceedings at times.
Losing the deciding goal after Portland had gone down to ten men was particularly galling. I personally thought the dismissal of Mamadou Danso was harsh on 85 minutes, but with the way the ref was brandishing the yellow card about all night, it had been on the cards from early on.
There’s not much point in doing a match recap as it feels so long ago already but here’s some general thoughts from the game.
– My Caps Man of the Match was Nelson Akwari. His goal aside, he was outstanding for most of the match at the back and was a commanding presence in both boxes.
– Jay Nolly had a jittery first half I felt. He was his usual composed self. I don’t know if this was down to the pitch or him just having an off day, but he made up for it with some fine stops in the second half.
– Marcus Haber did well at holding the ball up but he’s still not what I want from our main striker. I want him in the the box getting on the end of crosses, not the other way around. I still feel he doesn’t use his height to our advantage but that said, he had a good game and caused threats, but we badly need a prolific striker to finish our chances.
– It was disappointing that this game was on a Thursday night. I only found two other Caps fans who had made the journey, so a big hello to Keith and Leah. Hope you have a great weekend down there.
– It was a great game of football. Easily the best USL/NASL match I’ve seen this season. I was surprised how well we played as I didn’t expect much coming in to the match. We did well and matched Portland in all areas, bar taking more chances. You couldn’t help but watch the game though and wonder how many players on display would be making the step up. One Portland fan, who admitted to being very conservative with his picks, felt maybe 4, maybe 6 of the current Timbers squad would be making the MLS leap with the team.
– Once again, hats off to all of the Portland fans I spoke to who made me feel very much welcome at the stadium. As always, a classy bunch down there and I look forward to many more visits in the “big leagues”.
Sadly I’ll miss the July 3rd visit down there due to work commitments I just can’t get out of, but hopefully there will be a playoff visit to follow. It’s a great stadium to visit, a fine set up and as always, an enjoyable matchday atmosphere. Just a pity that the basketball took prize billing on the night of the game, but more on that next time.