FanPost

3 Stars from Portland - Seattle game


Last night's game was truly marvelous and it showed the true heart of the team just when things looked bleak after Portland game back from two goals down to tie it.

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What are "three stars"? In ice hockey, three stars are given to the three best players during that game and the top star is given to the best player for that game. So here are my three stars and why.
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Star #1 (best player of the game): Nicolas Lodeiro. Even though he did not score any goals and he only played in only one half, his influence on the game was immense. In the first half (and without Lodeiro), Portland had the better run of play with Seattle struggling at times. Portland could have easily been ahead by two or more goals if it wasn't for Stefan Cleveland's magnificent saves.
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But everything changed when Lodeiro came into the game at the beginning of the second half. The Sounders played so much better and the Timbers just didn't have any answer to Lodeiro except to kick him and knock him down. I think Lodeiro was playing his typical game by running the offense for the Sounders and Portland could not handle it. Lodeiro was the calming influence that the Sounders needed to finish off the Timbers. This is why he is the team captain and the team's best player even though other players on the team played very well.
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Star #2: Raul Ruidiaz. You could easily say the Freddie Montero belongs in the top three with his two goals, but Ruidiaz was just a menace to the Timbers the entire game. His first goal was fantastic but his second goal, which finally put the dagger into the Timbers, was of pure genius. Timing his run perfectly so he could tap in the rebound was just plain awesome. You can tell this guy is motivated to win for this team.
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Star #3: Stefan Cleveland. I thought of putting Joao Paulo here because he had a very good game. But I could not ignore that Cleveland saved the Sounders from going down by two goals or more in the first half. If he was just your average back up goal keeper, I think we would be talking here about why the Sounders lost the game.
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This guy played out of his mind and he made some fantastic saves. It is going to be a shame to see him back on the bench when Stefan Frei is ready because he has played very well for the Sounders. I don't expect to see him back next year unless the Sounders have told him that he will be Frei's eventual replacement.
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If you don't agree with my list then let me know what your three stars are. Thanks!

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