Shuttleworth comes up big as Revs hold Timbers

Bobby Shuttleworth

 

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

BY MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore.- After starting the season with numerous high-scoring affairs, the Portland Timbers finally found their match in Bobby Shuttleworth.

The New England Revolution goalkeeper had a career-high nine saves as the Revs and Timbers battled to a 0-0 draw, in front of a sold out Jeld-Wen Field.

While Portland dominated possession and had 22 shots for the match, the Timbers were unable to find the back of the net for the first time in 2013.

On two separate occasions, Shuttleworth was left alone with a Timber player bearing down on him. But Darlington Nagbe and Ryan Johnson were both denied by  New England’s keeper.

“In the end, you got to credit their goalkeeper, he made some great saves,” Porter said. “I also felt a part of that was us not being as sharp as we could have been around the final third.”

But Shuttleworth was not the only goalkeeper to excel Thursday night. His counterpart Donovan Ricketts was up to the task as well. In fact if not for a late full extension save on Saer Sene, New England would have left the Rose City with the full three points.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t credit Donovan Ricketts. He’s been absolutely tremendous,” Porter said. “Donovan Ricketts probably saved us in the end.”

The Jamaican International ended the night with four saves and earned his third straight home shutout. Ricketts has been an anchor backing up a defensive line that saw its third injury in the last five matches. Mikael Silvestre, who has been a leader both on-and-off the field this season, went down with an injury early in the second half and had to be replaced by Andrew Jean-Baptiste.

While the Timbers were able to extend their unbeaten streak to seven games, which is a team record since joining the MLS in 2011, they were unable to get the victory. Instead Portland settled for a MLS-leading fifth draw of the season.

“Every time we take the field here at home we expect to win,” Will Johnson said. “But you can’t play fantastically well every time. We had the chances but we didn’t take them.”

For the majority of the match, Portland played with the style that has become familiar to fans watching their games this season. With free-flowing play, Nagbe, Valeri and Ryan Johnson all created numerous potential opportunities. Rodney Wallace also added in multiple sharp crosses that constantly found teammates in the attacking third. Yet, the Timbers were unable to find a breakthrough.

“Obviously its not a loss, its a tie, we get a point. And yet we feel like we let two points slip away,” Porter said.

New England came into the match with a patchwork backline with four defenders out due to injury or suspension. Bilal Duckett, who got the start at right back, was recalled from a loan to the Rochester Rhinos just 48 hours before the match. Despite continuous pressure from Wallace and Co., Duckett seemed to be unfazed by the attacking play and held his own.

While Duckett and his fellow defenders gave up quite a few shots to the Timbers, most of them were taken  from long distance or difficult angles. When the Timbers were able to get decent looks, Shuttleworth was able to keep Portland off the board. New England’s defensive strategy was not lost on the Timbers.

“It’s zero-zero and they’re rolling the ball in the corner. It just tells you they are going for draws on the road and they have a strategy,” Will Johnson said. “It’s up to us to stick one in the back of the net to make that whole strategy not work. We had the chances but we didn’t do it.”

The draw moves Portland into a tie of second-place in the Western Conference and while Porter wasn’t happy with the result, he didn’t seem too worried about the attacking ability of his team going forward.

“We had plenty of shots, it’s not like we didn’t create chances. We had a lot of chances, we missed a couple breakaways, had some point-black saves. It very easily could have been a different result,” Porter said.

Next up for the New England (2-3-3, 9 points)  is a Wednesday match at home against Real Salt Lake. Portland (3-1-5, 14 points) will travel to FC Dallas in a matchup of two of the Western Conference’s best teams.

 

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15 Responses to Shuttleworth comes up big as Revs hold Timbers

  1. Kosh says:

    Pretty good game but Nagbe was wasteful in front of the net. He had more than one very good chance to score but often opted for power of technique, which resulted in shots at or close to Shtttleworth. This is no knock on Shuttleworth because I think he looked very good as did the Revs too. But Nagbe had a very clean through one v one on goal and where I’ve seen RvP, Bale and Kagawa (to name a few) dink it over an on rushing keeper – Nagbe chose power (before the associative masters come after me – I am not by any means saying Nagbe is anywhere like those guys but as a striker he’s gotta use more in his bag of tricks to put the ball in the net).

  2. Scott says:

    Atticus would have taken care of business for the Timbers…

  3. Puffer says:

    Jay Heaps’ formations and lineup decisions are completely lost on me.

    • ed - houston says:

      a road point against a hot team is pretty good. 9 saves though? well done Revs, well done.

    • Anthony says:

      If you’re talking about the defense, those were the only 4 defenders available for the game. The 4-1-4-1 formation is a bit unconventional, but it worked last week so he tried it again. However I’d much rather see him go more with a 4-1-3-2 with 2 strikers, Bengtson is almost useless as a lone striker.

  4. AzTeXan says:

    So is Shuttlesworth the starter now?

    • 20 says:

      Matt Reis is going through a very difficult time right now, dealing with the serious injury to his father in law, a victim of the Boston Marathon attacks. So for now I think his focus is on his family, giving this opportunity to Shuttleworth

  5. Yevgeniy says:

    I ended up watching the entire game as a neutral. I have to say that this was perhaps the fastest game I saw all season and probably as exciting of a 0:0 game as you will ever see in any league.

  6. AzTeXan says:

    “One team from the West coast…entertaining a team from the East Coast…meeting… in the middle…of the week.”

    Nailed the intro in the MLSsoccer.com highlights.

  7. Timber Danny says:

    Chara was my MotM. There’s a reason Osvaldo Alonso is called the “Poor Man’s Diego Chara”

  8. Chance says:

    It was really less Shuttleworth stopping the Timbers than them stopping themselves. They forced Shuttleworth to make 1 save. The rest were all basically right at him or without any pace. I don’t mean to take anything away from him, but the Timbers just completely failed at finding a decent finishing touch the entire game. They kept creating chances, but their play inside the 18 was really pathetic.

  9. francis says:

    That Shuttlesworth got game