Ryan Pore Is a Poor Man's Steven Gerrard

Joe OneillCorrespondent IIJune 7, 2010

On a rain drenched turf at PGE Park in Portland, Oregon, it's a 0-0 game between the Portland Timbers and Carolina Railhawks. Although dominating for most of the game, the Timbers have yet to break-through.

Then, in the fifty-eighth minute, an opening presents itself. Ryan Pore sprints down the left side of the pitch to a patch of open space fifteen yards in front of the Railhawk's goal.

Bright Dike, a Timber's forward, slips through a pass to the sprinting Pore. He has the ball and a clear shot at goal.

At a time when many players, given that amount of space and time, will choke and pull the ball up and shoot right at the keeper, Pore calmly takes aim and rocks a bullet into the left side of the goal.

Ryan Pore is never the fastest guy on the pitch.

Nor is he the quickest.

Other players possess a more deft touch.

What Ryan Pore possesses is the inexplicable ability to consistently be in the right place at the right time.

As well as a bit of ice water in his veins.

It's a combination of innate instincts and good-old fashioned hard work that brings success to Pore's way.

Remind you of a certain mid-fielder that currently plays for Liverpool?

Only rather than playing to sold-out crowds at Anfield, he plays to passionate, yet smaller crowds, at PGE Park for the second division Portland Timbers.

This season, he's lighting it up for the Timbers, scoring an amazing eight our of their 10 total team goals. Yes, Ryan Pore is responsible for 80 percent of the Timber's goal output, something even Gerrard, or Fernando Torres, could never hope to replicate.

Pore isn't just fighting for a starting job, or the Golden Boot award for the USL (United States League), he's fighting for a job next year when the Timbers join the MLS. 

Pore was chosen in the second round of the 2005 MLS Superdraft by the Kansas City Wizards. He spent three productive, but ultimately unremarkable, years with the Wizards. Scoring just three goals in 58 games, he signed a two-year contract with Portland in March 2009 that runs through the 2010 season. 

It was heady times for the two-time All American at the University of Tulsa. For the first time he wasn't one of the better players on the pitch. He began fighting for his professional life.

Since joining the Timbers, Pore has scored an amazing 18 goals. He continually finds space and the back of the net.

He's certainly the best player on the Timber's in a frustrating year for the storied franchise.

And yet, this is it for Ryan Pore.

If he's left off the Timber's roster next season, he falls into soccer purgatory with a long list of players with good talent, but not enough to ultimately make a living as a professional.

He's certainly making a case for himself.

Pore is one of those players who seems to see the play before it actually happens. He anticipates, rather than reacts, and is seemingly always in the right place at the right time. When an opportunity does present itself, he generally capitalizes and hits his mark.

He doesn't blow past defenders. He doesn't juke them out of their cleats. He simply possesses excellent technical skills and a keen knowledge of the game.

I think there should be a spot for him next year. He's played in the MLS, is familiar with the Portland coaching staff, and should make a solid player at the next level.


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