Philadelphia 1 – Portland 2
The first semi-final match of the MLS is Back Tournament was a tight one against two good teams. I always thought that Philly was going to score the equalizer, but it just never happened. You have to wonder how different this game would have been if Sergio Santos hadn’t missed the penalty kick just before halftime.
Philadelphia Union: A-
Philly played the exact game they wanted to play. The one thing they didn’t expect was to run into a keeper that played better than their own. Andre Blake was once again great and I believe should still win the keeper of the tournament award, but on this day Steve Clark was just a bit better. Philly controlled possession as they often do, and threatened Clark with plenty of chances, but could not find the back of the net until it was too late. While they certainly wanted the tournament win, they should still feel good about their chances at an MLS cup later in the year.
Portland Timbers: A-
Portland had the counter attack pressure going all night. From the very start of the game it looked like they were going to score. They broke through in the 13th minute and changed the tone of the game. Philly doesn’t like playing from behind and it was clearly Portland’s goal to cause that to happen. Portland will believe that they are the favorite against either team they meet in the final.
Man of the Match: Steve Clark
I didn’t expect Clark to be the better keeper in a matchup against Andre Blake, but he rose to the challenge. He made seven saves on eight shots and dealt with constant pressure the entire night. If he plays like this in the final, Portland will be tough to beat.