Portland Timbers

Timbers Academy & THE GAME this weekend

I’ve been amiss in not following up much more on the first game; there’s only so much you can offer without repeating and repeating and repeating what everyone already knows.

Been quite busy of late but I did get a chance to check out the Timbers U-18′s on Saturday and also speak with a top College Soccer Head Coach scouting the game. We had an interesting chat about the various styles and systems in College to include the strengths and weaknesses of a direct attacking scheme versus possession-based approaches.

All told it was a hard fought match with a large number of second chance balls and some pretty quick play. The U-18′s seemed to hold form but what the latest press release doesn’t tell you is that Jesse Garcia took a nasty head knock, as did a Sounders player, early in the first half.┬áHate to see those accidental events and it truly was unlucky for both players.

With Garcia missing Langsdorf did his best to try and control the midfield but as it happens the left side appeared a bit worse for wear that game and plenty of chances came that way given how tight the back four had to play.

If not for a PK miss by the Timbers the game would have ended in a draw – others might not think a draw was deserving, if following the Sounders Academy lads, but plenty of chances went missing on both sides of the pitch.

As for this weekend’s game – sadly I will miss the game due to other events going on but rest assured I will make every opportunity to watch and take it in.

As for a prognostication – I’m not really up for that but perhaps we see the Timbers finally push across a few goals with a double striker formation. I have yet to see the Timbers offer up a more standard 4-4-2 type scheme and the more direct they need to go as time passes the more likely that event occurs.

Let’s not forget that late goal where Piq rose high on a brilliantly played cross – I still remain stubborn that the way to beat the diamond is with two target players – but the Timbers are a strong, quick and visionary team so many different ways and means exist to create those goal scoring opportunities.

No doubt the game will be a hard one with open play probably taking the game by storm most of the way. Speed could play a big role early on for both sides and a likely scenario sees Real playing to the counter with pressure beginning at the midfield line.

Next up – not sure – depends on the result…

Chris Gluck

I have been covering the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer, as a community blogger/analyst for the Columbian Newspaper, since June, 2012. Since then my involvement in soccer analysis has expanded to include participating in the Regional Emmy Award Winning Soccer City PDX TV Show (Comcast Sports Northwest). My unique analytical approach has been published in Europe and presented at the World Conference on Science and Soccer 2014. I also appear regularly as a co-host on Rose City Soccer Show and the Yellowcarded Podcast. You can find my work on PossessionwithPurpose.com, PTFC Collective and Prost Amerika.