When former Colorado Rapids defender Kosuke Kimura was traded to the Portland Timbers from his longtime side, he most certainly circled Sept. 5 on his calendar.
That’s when he was set to face his former club in front of his old fans at Dick’s Sporting Good Park.
Now, after the Timbers lost 3-0 to the Rapids on Wednesday, Kimura most certainly is trying to forget that date. The veteran right back was admittedly not on his game as the entire Timbers defense allowed the Rapids attack to run free.
“I wanted to play well,” Kimura said. “Coach told me not to be too emotional, but I got caught up in the moment a little bit. I can’t let that happen in a game. It’s just 90 minutes. But if for just one minute you lose focus, it’s just going to kill you at the professional level.”
Timbers interim head coach Gavin Wilkinson said all three goals – by Andre Akpan, Tony Cascio and finally Jaime Castrillón – could have been prevented if not for individual mistakes. Wilkinson didn’t name names, but Kimura called himself out for the performance.
“The first 10 minutes I wasn’t on it,” Kimura said. “Cascio had a chance to score a goal; he had an assist on one goal. It was an individual mistake I think. I thought we played good enough to create chances to get some points, but like I said an individual mistake let the team down.”
Kimura and the defense, including fellow midseason arrivals in left back Steven Smith and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, had seemed to gel in the previous two games. They turned in their first clean sheet since May in the previous game, also against Colorado, a 1-0 victory on Aug. 31, and a 2-1 victory over Cascadia rivals Vancouver on Aug. 25.
But now it’s back to the drawing board with another Cascadia match on the horizon on Sept. 15 at JELD-WEN Field with their archrivals, the Seattle Sounders, coming to town.
“I put pressure on my shoulders [Wednesday], but it didn’t come out well,” Kimura said. “Like I said, it’s a professional game and you can’t fix the past, but you’ve got to try to fix the future. I think if we keep the ball like we did in the second half, we can get more points the rest of the season.”
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.