In Friday's entry, I made the point that Portland have climbed toward the top of the standings by both dominating the ball, and by doing so upfield. They lead the league (comfortably) in passing completion percentage in the opposition half.
As many pointed out, both on Twitter and in the comments section, Vancouver were second in that same metric. And the 'Caps are nowhere near the top of the standings.
Here's the difference, though:
|Team||Passes Opp Half|
|Real Salt Lake||3,255|
|New York Red Bulls||3,147|
|Sporting Kansas City||3,090|
|San Jose Earthquakes||2,683|
|New England Revolution||2,185|
So, there's your context. The Timbers are defending from the front, holding the ball as far up the pitch as possible, for as long as possible.
And it's working.