The last time the Portland Timbers failed to make the MLS Cup playoffs, coach Caleb Porter spent the offseason in a state of introspection. Porter questioned everything – from team building to the style of play previously so central to his identity.
Six days ago, we were in full-scale meltdown mode over the U.S. under-20 national team. A 1-0 defeat to 10-man Panama and an early deficit against Haiti put the Americans on a path for humiliation at the CONCACAF championship in Costa Rica and a conspicuous absence from the U-20 World Cup in South Korea. Tab Ramos’s squad reversed course, however, scoring eight consecutive goals in trouncing Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis for a spot in the classification stage (which is being used instead of standard knockout rounds). Then on Monday, the Americans defeated Mexico, 1-0, on Erik Palmer-Brown’s first-half header to send them to the brink of a World Cup berth. Two teams from each of the two three-nation
The 2017 season is just about to begin, so let’s take a look around the league, starting with the Eastern Conference. Columbus Crew Away on March 25th Finish Last Year: 9th place in the Eastern Conference Former Timbers: None Players to Watch: Ole Kamara lit it up for the Crew in 2016 and with Federico Higuain healthy and set to once again pull the strings in the center of the attack, he could be in for another big year. Of course, it will be up to players like Will Trapp and Tony Tchani to bring back the base to the midfield that made the Crew so successful in 2015. New England Revolution Home on April 2nd Finish Last Year: 7th place in the Eastern Conference Former Timbers: None Players to