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Most impressive MLS Round 9 win: Portland or LA Galaxy?

Apr 28, 2013, 3:31 PM EDT

Los Angeles Galaxy v Seattle Sounders FC Getty Images

Project Porter is rolling with speed in Merritt Paulson Valley. Manager Caleb Porter has the Timbers playing well and performing with the requisite aesthetic. If we take the big look at Portland Timbers matter, all of this is helping validate Paulson’s tough choice last year, to abandon ship on manager John Spencer and go a different direction.

The latest paint stroke of validation came last night in the Heartland, where Porter’s team took down Sporting Kansas City in a hard-fought, well-played 3-2 thriller.

Considering Sporting KC’s status (perched at No. 2 in our latest MLS rankings), it was a mighty impressive result. No soldier in the loyal Timbers Army would have felt badly about a draw, and Porter’s posse did one better.

On most weekends, that would rank as the result of the round.

But not long after final whistle outside Kansas City, the two-time defending champion Galaxy did their best to one-up the men from Oregon. Bruce Arena had to assemble a patchwork lineup to account not just for missing starters, but for the starting-est of starters, if you know what I mean.

When we name Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Carlo Cudicini, you have just named three of the champs’ most important four men. Throw in Todd Dunivant, and you take away a quality left back and one of the Galaxy’s most experienced vets. Then, one of the better young starters, Jack McBean, leaves after 53 minutes injured.

Some of the replacement parts are names that even someone like me, who does this stuff for a living, know little about. I mean, Charlie Rugg? That young man played 71 minutes last night. Total time now in MLS matches all-time for Mr. Rugg. Uh, 71 minutes.

Same for young goalkeeper Brian Rowe, who also made his pro debut.

For the Galaxy young bucks to rampage to an early lead, that’s one thing. But to stay hungry, as they did, and maintain discipline, as they did, that’s mighty impressive stuff, too.

I’ll sit the fence on this one. They both rank as huge achievements.

You may think differently.

  1. pjbowmaster - Apr 28, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    I’ll take Galaxy for $200 Alex………

  2. raisin212k - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    Lets see here. The Galaxy beat a team that is 3 ranks below them in the west & more overall, RSL. They’re the two-time champs.
    On the other hand, the Timbers beat the second best team in the league. In their own house. Only a homer would choose the Galaxy. Only a homer would “stay on the fence”. The Timbers for a much better win.

  3. SD1 Timbers Special Forces - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Of course it’s the Timbers. SKC are one of the best in the league and to beat them at Sporting park that hadn’t allowed a single goal all year and to tie the total ever scored there is of course impressive. RSL is not in form and seemingly half asleep. SKC on the other hand were ready to fight from the first whistle. I mean the Timbers were down a goal 40 seconds in! Then went down 2-1 30 minutes in only to draw even then slice open one of the best defenses to eventually win 3-2.

    Let’s see that Galaxy team go down 1 40 seconds in at Sporting and see how the final would of been.

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