I’ve been writing this for days now. I’ve only just decided to start over. Bear with me. I’m going to write fast and see if I can get the words out before they become too much of a mess. Apologies in advance.
I’ve been a little haunted since the reserves match Sunday. It was a fun game and, after Saturday (when I missed the derby to attend a memorial service), it felt… healing. It felt like going home after a long, drawn-out absence.
I never thought I’d see Kris Boyd play in a reserves match, but there we were. And he looked good. He was active and engaged and, within the first ten minutes of the match, had an assist and a goal.
And then it felt like the end.
Did we just see Kris Boyd’s last goal as a Timber?
My heart hurts to think about it.
After several games on the bench, limited minutes and a view from the sidelines of a derby match, his injury against San Jose has set me on edge. Maybe that was it. Maybe that reserve match goal really was Kris Boyd’s last wearing our club’s badge.
A couple days ago, another member of the Timbers Bloggers Battalion posed this question: if I could bring back only five players next year, who would they be? I warned him that my picks would be entirely emotion-driven.
Eric Alexander, of course, because I know he can do more. Diego Chara for the effort he puts in every time he suits up for us. David Horst for the sheer fact that I want to see him beat the crap out of the OTHER Eddie Johnson sometime in the near future. Mike Fucito because I can’t help loving that little hobbit.
And, it will come as no surprise, Kris Boyd.
Boyd makes the list not just because of my ridiculous fan-crush, but because I think he has some unfinished business here.
If we go back to the “Cubbie incident“, we remember that Cubbie tried to paint him as the failed savior of the Timbers 2012 season and the reason John Spencer was fired. Lame.
But, watching Boyd struggle since then, it seems he took it to heart. He’s had flashes, momentary glimpses of the player he should be, but those have been few, separated by long instances of Gavin-imposed exile.
So, what happens now? The season is coming to a close, the playoffs are beyond our reach. Boyd’s one-plus-one contract is weighing on my mind.
Will he stay? Does he want to stay? Does incoming manager Caleb Porter want him to stay?
I want him to stay. I want him to succeed. I’m a sucker for a romantic comeback story and the scene is set for one here.
Here’s the thing: I loved Kenny Cooper. I will always keep a special place in my heart for Kenny. Soft-spoken, polite, misused Kenny Cooper.
And now, I wait to see what happens to Kenny’s replacement. Kenny, let’s remember, is currently among the league’s leading scorers. For another club that figured out how he works.
Here’s to hoping that we get a second chance at figuring out how Kris Boyd works. If anyone from the Timbers coaching staff needs me to point them in the right direction on this one, I’ve got a fair few Youtube videos I can point out.
So, here, because I feel I need to, a few words not *about* Kris, but to him.
Stay. If the choice is yours to make, I hope you choose to stay. The Portland chapter of your story is still being written. Don’t leave in the middle. Stay and become a legend, not just a footnote in our history.
I was there at the press conference when you were introduced to the Timbers faithful. I was there for your first goal at Jeld-Wen. I stood with you, shoulder to shoulder, at midfield during a season ticket holder event and looked up into the North End and I imagined a day in the future when I would tell my kids about this guy, this legendary Scottish striker that, by some odd turn of luck, ended up here in Portland.
I hope that, after I tell them about your rocky first year, I will be able to tell them about your triumphant comeback in your second year here, when you led the league in scoring and led our club deep into the playoffs.
Help me tell that story, Kris.
Give me a story to tell.