PORTLAND, Ore. — In the midst of their longest break between games this season, Portland Timbers players and coaches sat back and watched soccer as fans last Friday — and they were treated to a game-winning goal by teammate Rodney Wallace, who made his international debut with Costa Rica in their friendly against the United States.
Wallace scored just four minutes after he came on in the 61st minute on a header off the rebound from a shot by teammate Michael Barrantes, giving Costa Rica a 1-0 upset victory at the Home Depot Center.
"I was definitely watching the game," Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury said. "Excited for him, obviously."
And of course, the social media savvy members of the Timbers were quick to their Twitter accounts, as Mike Chabala and Lovell Palmer were quick to congratulate Wallace.
Portland head coach John Spencer also saw the goal and said he hopes Wallace can translate that into more consistency with his club. Wallace, who was raised in Maryland but born in Costa Rica, has two goals this season for Portland.
"It's nice for him, though it doesn't mean much for me or the Timbers," Spencer said. "I was happy for him personally, don't get me wrong."
Jewsbury, admittedly not much of a tweeter, said he texted Wallace his congratulations. But he was leery of one thing.
"I hope his head hasn't gotten too big when he gets back," Jewsbury said. "If it isn't already."
Time to rest
The extended break — the Timbers will get 17 days of rest between their last match against Chivas USA and this Saturday's game against the Philadelphia Union — has allowed some Portland players to heal bumps and bruises.
But the Timbers, who had their last scheduled match against D.C. United canceled due to Hurricane Irene, will still be without two important pieces for the Philadelphia match.
Forward Eddie Johnson is still suffering from headaches after he sustained two concussions in August and is out indefinitely.
Additionally, defender Mamadou Danso is unlikely to play after he suffered a hamstring injury on Aug. 20 in Portland's 2-1 victory over Vancouver.