Okay Portland Timbers fans, sure this past Sunday was not the ideal outcome, and I am sure that on the outside you are still as confident as ever. But let’s be honest, deep down even a little, are you a little worried? You would have every reason to be worried; the Timbers have had a mediocre August and still have to play Salt Lake on the road Friday and the Seattle Sounders are now right on your tail with newly added Clint Dempsey.
But can we be honest again? Dempsey will not help that much and the Timbers will in the end be absolutely fine. Except when it comes to the Cascadia Cup, that one may be completely out of reach at this point. Dempsey is a great player, probably the best current American player there is. But he has not shown us a thing since arriving back to the States. Sunday night he was all over the place, holding on to the ball way too long on runs, blasting over the goal several times, and becoming visibly frustrated after each failed attempt at a goal.
If it was Dempsey of a few years ago, there might be a little more concern. However, no one in their prime just leaves the English Premier League to play in the MLS … nobody. David Beckham was not only far from his prime but he was also extremely overrated as a soccer player and was mostly famous for, well, being famous. And in a similar fashion, no starting quarterback in the NFL in their right mind would leave for the Canadian Football League, even if they were Canadian unless their prime years were behind them. Same goes for soccer players in their actual prime leaving the EPL or La Liga to come to the MLS, it just doesn’t happen.
The biggest threat that Dempsey brings to the Sounders is excitement and momentum. He provided a shot of adrenaline to the fans and team, and it will take a couple of losses in a row to slow down their momentum. Overall though, we have about two months of a season left and it’s consistency that the Timbers need to hold on to along with picking up wins at home and all will be okay.