Patience paid off for the Timbers
The Rapids knew they couldn't sit back and let the match come to them. You aren’t afforded such a luxury when results aren’t falling your way. On the flip side, the Timbers recent five-game winning streak allowed them to play with patience. They approached this match with caution, aware the Rapids would try to take them game to them to begin the match. They soaked up pressure and the challenges the Rapids dished out early and waited to pounce. A winning streak allows you to do that. You can pick your spots.
A giveaway by the Rapids in midfield led to Samuel Armenteros’ second goal of the night. It was the moment that took the out of wind the sails of the home side just seconds after they had equalized. Up to that point, the match looked poised for a 90-minute fistfight. Instead, the Timbers took advantage of a mistake and never looked back. Their patience paid off.
Such is the difference between a team on a six-game winning streak, and one on a six-game losing streak. When you’re flying high you’ve seen things break your way in recent weeks and are confident it will happen again. Which brings me to the next point…
The Rapids were in need of a spark
When things aren’t going well, you need a break. Any break. Especially when you’re playing in front of your home fans. It can be a small hustle play or a highlight-reel moment. A save, a tackle, a goal. Anything to get the fans behind you and shift the momentum in your favor. Against the Timbers, the Rapids needed something to flip that switch and give them that the confidence and swagger that can be in short supply during a losing streak.
I thought that little bit of luck happened in the 31st minute Saturday after Edgar Castillo’s cross was deflected in to equalize the match. It was just what Anthony Hudson’s side needed and came just seconds after the Timbers snatched the lead. It wasn’t pretty, but it electrified the home crowd.
Confidence in pro sports is fickle. It can come and go in a flash, but when you’re riding a wave of it the ball just seems to bounce your way. It feels like you get the calls you need. The breaks go your way. Results often follow. I thought the Rapids found a moment that would give them that confidence tonight. They didn’t.
One guarantee I can make to the fans is that this side won’t quit and this slide will end, eventually.
Vancouver is next up on just six days of rest. Back on the grind.