Saturday, May 20, 2006

A Post!

What's this? An actual post to Ax to the Road?!?

Well, sort of...

It's been difficult to come up with blog-worthy material since being relegated to "home' radio guy. I suppose the theme of ATTR could be changed, allowing for more logical and timely updates, but I'm not quite ready to give up complete hope that my trusty iBook will find its way to a USL city other than Portland some time this summer.

In the meantime. I need to practice blogging for an upcoming internet gig. So let's get to some thoughts about last night's match against Rochester.

Losing 1-0 to the top team in the USL is nothing to be alarmed at, and certainly was an improvement over last year's 5-nil beatdown at the hands of the Rhinos at PGE Park. The Timbers have got to start earning points soon, however, or it's going to be a long summer. Sunday's match against Toronto will complete one quarter of this year's league schedule and that's a hefty chunk when you stop to think about it.

Portland's first-half defense vs. Rochester was effective and the boys should be commended for executing the game plan, but that style can be brutal to watch. It was a clog fest by both sides, leading to a grand total of five shots combined - none dangerous.

I felt the Rhinos made the move of the match when they inserted Delicate for Dombrowski at halftime, pulling Menyongar back just a hair and going with what was essentially a 4-3-3, which the Ax Men failed to adjust to in time.

Luke added great energy as the Timbers' first sub, but unfortunately it was too little, too late.

Surprised:How balanced Rochester is. 5-0-0 (all on the road) to start the season is ridiculous. That said, I thought they would have pushed to attack more than they did ... Less than 4,000 at the old stadium on a Friday night was a bit of a letdown. Still better than most team's draw on a good night, but the park lacked it's usual energy ... Oral Bullen coming on as a sub despite not being listed on the team's official lineup card.

Not Surprised:Aaran Lines playing like the pro that he is. He's a different class and if healthy (he played hurt too much last season) will challenge for the USL assists crown.

One last thing... If you've listened to one of the webcasts thus far, I've got some good news. The audio quality should be increasing tenfold starting Sunday, May 22 vs. Toronto as we switch to a true web stream. I'm being assisted in the booth by UO student broadcaster and loyal Timbers' fan John Strong, who is helping me get a handle on the latest technology. If you're a fan of crackling crowd noise and random salsa music, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed and you can blame John for taking that away.

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