What we learned vs. Portland Timbers

Our ‘Caps were heading for their first win over Portland on Saturday when a loss of concentration and a none-call cost them a point in a 2-2 draw.

So what did we learn?

Battling Brazilian

Camilo blasts in free kick to open scoring

When Martin Rennie asked Camilo to play the striker role on Saturday, I’m not sure if Camilo knew he would be up against two giant centre backs in 6-foot-2 Andrew Jean-Baptiste and 6-foot-3 Mamadou “Futty” Danso.

But once he got on the field he took to the challenge like a duck to water, battling the two central defenders from the first whistle.

Being nearly half their size did not put off our little Brazilian, as he constantly put his body in front of them and the ball. His hold up play was very impressive and he did not give them a minute’s peace.

Eventually Danso was shown a straight red for bringing down Camilo on a breakaway. It was a little harsh, as it looked like a tangle of legs, but it was indicative of the night that the Portland defenders had to endure.

Camilo showed off a side of his game we have not seen much of, and he had one of his best performances as he scored a spectacular free kick and set up a goal for Gershon Koffie.

Welcome back Gershon Koffie

Koffie curls in his second goal of the season

It was thrilling to see Gerson Koffie running around BC Place with his swagger back. There have been big expectations for Gershon this year and he is now held to a higher standard.

I remind people that he is still a young player and being more consistent will be his biggest challenge as he tries to establish himself as one of the premier midfield players in MLS.

He has gone through a sticky patch, but on Saturday against one of the strongest midfields in the league he was his dominant self, winning tackles, breaking through the midfield to run at the defence, and finding the time to get on the score sheet with a great goal. It was a welcome sight to see.

A team to be proud of

Full match highlights

This was a big week for our ‘Caps with three huge games and an enormous amount of pressure to get positive results from each one.

We started off the week by getting our first MLS win over two-time defending champs LA Galaxy, and then we flew across the country to tie Montreal 0-0 in the ACC Championship final first leg. Then we had to fly back across country to play a very tough game against one of the hottest teams in the league right now.

Our boys fought off fatigue and scrapped for everything to put themselves in a wining position with eight minutes left in the game.

Unfortunately a draw felt like a loss when Portland tied the game up late, but when everything calmed down and I was able to reflect on what was a very tough week under difficult circumstances, I’m very proud of how the boys responded when many teams would have folded under the pressure of it all. And you should be proud too.