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RSL, Portland: A match made in heaven, over and over again

Gene Sweeney Jr.

Real Salt Lake and Portland Timbers are, I suppose, like a match made in heaven. I don’t know what kind of match, really, but some kind of match and it’s not entirely so bad.

It might have something to do with not having lost to them since 2011 — that’s a nice thing, especially given we’ve played some important games against them. But it all goes out the window today, as it does every game. Past glories are meaningless from the first whistle, unless it sends the opposition into a fury every time they play, which certainly is something, I suppose.

Regardless of how meaningless they may or may not be, here are some things that have happened in the world since we last lost to Portland:

  • Osama bin Laden is caught
  • NASA's space shuttle program ends
  • Occupy Wall Street kicks off
  • Mars Curiosity Rover is launched
  • Encyclopædia Britannica discontinued print editions
  • CERN discovers the Higgs boson
  • Mars Curiosity Rover lands on Mars
  • Pope Benedict XVI resigns
  • Edward Snowden leaks documents and flees the country

Portland will an interesting side to play today. They’re fired up after their last game, which they lost 4-3 on two vaguely controversial penalties (though on replay they both seem pretty acceptable from a neutral perspective) and some poor defending. To be fair, they did score three goals, and they mounted a valiant comeback.

So really, it won’t be as easy as we might hope, given the current form emanating out of Portland. (Although, to be fair, their only three wins of the season came out of their last six games.)

Some things to watch from Portland, in no particular order:

  • What’s their defensive outlay? Is Norberto Paparratto going to pair with Rauwshan McKenzie? (Please say yes.) Stumptown Footy thinks so, too.
  • Will Portland be able to calm down when they need to? Few moments this season have seen them do that successfully.
  • Will Caleb Porter explode on the sidelines into a glimmering array of sawdust? More at 11.
  • Will Caleb Porter try to pick a fight with Jeff Cassar, and will our loyal kit man put a quick end to that?