Matt Acconciamessa | US Soccer Daily

A little late, but here's another installment:

The Good

All things Portland: 

The atmosphere, the tifo, the anthem, the wins; everything has been coming up Milhouse for Portland over the last week. Thanks to their first two wins at Jeld-Wen Field, the Timbers suddenly find themselves in fourth in the Western Conference. Sure, John Spencer’s men have a thing or two to learn about closing out games, but for now we’ll just focus on the positives. There’s certainly a lot to be happy about for fans in the Rose City.

Heading into the final on a high note:

Real Salt Lake head into the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final on a positive note thanks to a dramatic midweek win over Colorado. They lucked out on the non-call for offside on Espindola’s winner, but they’ll gladly take the three points and morale boost as they move on towards the much-hyped two-legged final over the next two weeks.

Speaking of which, they’ll have a little less on their plate to worry about during those two weeks because of…

MLS’ scheduling decision:

It’s good to see the league helping out RSL in their quest for CCL glory by pushing back the Philadelphia-RSL match scheduled for this upcoming weekend to later in the season. Thanks to this switch, Kreis and company can focus all their efforts on Monterrey in what will be two of the most important international matches that MLS has been involved in to date.

Chris Pontius:

The DC United attacker was involved in two of his side’s three goals at BMO Field over the weekend, bagging a brace with a couple of slick finishes. Check them out here and here.

Luke Rodgers:

Some folks were surprised to see the former Notts County striker in the starting XI against San Jose, but he certainly justified Hans Backe’s faith with a fantastic performance. He followed up his first pair of MLS goals with a beautifully weighted assist to the head of Thierry Henry.

Henry’s emotion:

Say what you will about what Titi said to the Red Bulls supporters after he finally broke through and found the back of the net on Saturday, but I for one was glad to see the Frenchman at least showing just how much that goal meant to him. His play in early weeks inspired nicknames like “Thierry Ennui” and lead to a good deal of criticism, so it was good to see Henry do everything he could to right the ship against the Earthquakes. His performance was one of his strongest in a Red Bulls uniform, cause for optimism in Harrison, and a reminder of the talent that NY's captain still possesses.

Having 11 MLS matches in week:

I’m sure it’s killer on some of the teams that have to log a lot of miles in a short period of time, but as a fan, it was fantastic having so many matches to watch over four different days last week. Thank goodness for TV and the internet.

We’ll try to keep the good MLS vibes going for RSL and make this a good-heavy post, but there were a couple of things worthy of the last two categories…

The Bad

Union dropping points:

Philly turned in what was probably their best performance of the young season against Seattle despite monsoon conditions in Chester, but they had to walk away disappointed thanks to a late equalizer from Alvaro Fernandez. The unfortunate finish for Piotr Nowak’s men was a flashback to some of the less-than-ideal endings that cost the club a number of points last season. And for the soggy folks who braved the conditions at PPL Park, it was a bit of a buzzkill on an otherwise memorable day on the banks of the Delaware.

Matt Reis’ interesting technique:

Despite Houston’s numerous quality scoring opportunities throughout the match, the Revs were well positioned to escape Robertson Stadium with a point as the clock wound down, thanks in part to Matt Reis. But it was Reis who may have cost them that point when he made a mess of a ball that popped up straight off the crossbar, barely getting an arm up while eventually pushing Hunter Freeman into the ball. Ok, the ball did go off Freeman’s hand into the net, but it doesn’t excuse the puzzling, ineffective attempt by the Revs keeper.  

The Ugly

Bob Ryan:

The Boston Globe writer called the Timbers Army's awesome rendition of the Star Spangled Banner "a civic joke".  I can think of something else (or should I say someone) that is a joke, Mr. Ryan...Note to self: stay off of Bob Ryan's lawn.


And, as usual, the weather and officiating were far from perfect last week, but that’s nothing new. Feel free to add anything else that I may have missed.
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