Caleb Porter’s coaching career was such a super-fueled rocket ship there for a while, wasn’t it? “Up, up and away,” and all that.
Then came that unsightly Olympic ker-plunk, as a talented young American bunch under Porter’s direction blew a huge opportunity, not even getting out of group stage in qualifying for the 2012 London Games. Yeah, that left a mark.
Even then Porter seemed to be a good choice for the Portland Timbers 2.0 project. He still seemed to be a leader with a big managerial brain, a fellow with plenty of answers. Not just that, but most of us loved that he wanted to play “the right way,” with the ball on the ground and always a forward lean.
But that doggone Olympic stain just could not be ignored, like a gaudy rug in an otherwise tastefully adorned room. So we still had room to wonder how this Timbers decision could work out.
Well, Porter has certainly answered any doubts. No, the ongoing good tidings around Jeld-Wen Field – pour another one, boys and girls of ye Timbers Army for Sunday’s 3-0 win over reeling Chivas USA – do not mean that Porter has it all figured out. There will be intermittent rocky valleys among the swell, picturesque hills of success. He’ll have to respond to challenges, adjust as personnel evolves, adapt to changing worlds and all that.
But we know the man’s got some answers in his coaching briefcase, at least. We know he can put something together that works.
Portland just punctuated a great week with the dominant win over Chivas. Truly, the Goats never got a goat foot-hold on this one. That result followed a 1-1 mid-week draw at league-leading Dallas. Porter’s team has not lost since March 9, now unbeaten in nine in a row.
Diego Valeri had a goal and two assists Sunday. Rodney Wallace had a goal and an assist and Will Johnson had an absolute beauty of a curler to cap the lovely spring day in Oregon. Here are Sunday’s highlights from Jeld-Wen Field: