After what seemed like a hilariously early wakup call (more of a nap than a night's worth of sleep), we had a hassle-free travel day, and arrived back in the Rose City around 2 pm today. That advantage of the quick turnaround from last night's game is a lot of time today for the boys to relax and get their legs back ahead of tomorrow night's crucial 2nd leg.
Not much left to say last night outside of what was said on the postgame and what you all heard/saw. Again, sometime late tonight or before the tailgate tomorrow you'll be able to hear postmatch comments from Gavin Wilkinson, Bryan Jordan, and Tom Poltl on PortlandTimbers.com (just click on the audio news link).
Once again, here's my spectacuarly amateur travel photo gallery, courtesy of my cell phone.
In the van on the way over...Gavin on the wheel, Wicks on the radio, and Kostic on my lap.
I think it's Georgia state law that you can't go more than 5 minutes driving around without passing a Waffle House. I'm actually dissapointed that I didn't get the chance to pop into one. This was on the way to the stadium.
The Timbers making their way into RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium. That big white thing in the background is actually the dressing rooms; a set of big containers like you'd see on a cargo ship, but bigger and...nicer? Temporary of course, as they still build the stadium.
This was the vantage point I called the game from, on the councourse that's been build in anticpation of more stands. It reminded me of my days as a mediocre goalkeeper: once the ball went into the other half, I quickly lost perspective on relative distance, and there was a lot of guesswork on player IDs. But big thanks to the Silverbacks staff: when their wireless internet was having trouble pregame, they ran about 200 feet of ethernet cable for me to make sure we got on the air.
Hard to tell from the photo, but the black Silverbacks flag that flies over the stadium is at least the size of the rising sun flag the Timbers Army pulls out after goals.
Tailgaters! This was the biggest of the three parties that I could see in the parking lot nearest the stadium.
As the Timbers leave the pitch after the match just below me, they greet the family's worth of travelling fans. There was also a guy there who played with Gavin in New Zealand, at the same club Cameron Knowles was once with. Not often you run into Kiwis it's fair to say, so afterwards the rest of the team kept asking Cam about his "uncle".
Back at the hotel afterwards, where a giant stack of pizzas was there to greet us (uh, I mean, them....standing up and talking for 2 1/2 hours isn't exactly as deserving of food as playing a soccer game). Very muted response from the Timbers afterwards, largely because many knew they could play better, and all knew it was really only halftime.
So, Sunday it is then...we'll be on at 4:30 with the full team, and plenty of interviews and analysis as we go, from the best broadcast team in the USL First Division (not that I'm biased or anything...).