Welcome to The Columbian Portland Timbers blog; before I get started here’s a few things about me – then I’ll get to the ‘good stuff’ :).
I first started to learn this great game in England where I was an Assistant Coach, then Head Coach and eventually appointed as the General Manager of an English Youth Football Club in Norfolk County, England. While there I trained in the Norwich City FC Youth Academy and obtained my English FA Youth Coaching License through that organization.
After about 7 years of coaching in England we moved to Kent, Washington, where I was an Assistant Coach and eventual Head Coach of a Youth Soccer Club in King County for about four years. All of my time coaching and managing youth soccer has been voluntary.
With our move to Portland a few years ago, and a change in job, I relegated myself to being an ‘armchair center-back’ 😉
With that said here’s four categories I’m going to focus on with this blog.
I will focus on blogging a “Match day Analysis” category that will cover the most recent games “Beautiful”, “Good”, “Bad”, and “Ugly” things that I saw. Part of this will also include creating a “Men of the Match” category where I will select a “Man of the Match” who I feel or think played “the best” on the day and, after reviewing your comments and thoughts, I will post who you (collectively) feel or think was the “Man of the Match”.
I will focus on blogging a “Know the Enemy” category that will provide you and I the opportunity to post any relevant information we may think or feel is relevant about “what state of mind or body” our next opponent. For example if you click on this weblink it will take you to a recent blog on the LA Galaxy. http://www.thesection108.com/2012/06/04/push-the-button/ You can read that the LA Galaxy are already hitting the panic button (their words not mine) and that LA recently (unexpectedly) lost a Gold Cup game to the Carolina Railhawks (NASL) 2-1. To see the goals scored in that game click on this video weblink: http://www.carolinarailhawks.com/index.php?id=379&videoID=8134
Nice penetration by that right winger for the Railhawks!
I will focus on blogging a “Youth Soccer in our Region” category; but I’m not sure how it will take shape yet (your ideas are welcome) but here’s a recent article: http://www.oregonlive.com/timbers/index.ssf/2012/06/portland_timbers_preparing_you.html that talks about the Timbers creating a U-16 and U-18 Youth Academy.
Interesting article and it appears there are some issues between what some High Schools think about the Academy and the policy of the Academy not allowing the youth players to participate in both Academy and High School Soccer Teams. I will reserve a separate blog to offer some thoughts on these competing points of view.
I will focus on blogging a “What to Watch For” category where I will write what I think or feel may be some important things to watch for in our next upcoming game. I encourage you to provide me your thoughts on this as well – as time passes I would like to lead off the “What to Watch For” with the most popular idea coming from you.
With this being my first blog I will include my “What to Watch For” here today about our upcoming game with LA:
Watch for how successful we are in penetrating the left side of the LA 18 Yard Box.
Watch for how well Mwanga settles in and plays off-the-ball in tandem with Boyd. There’s lots of positive articles out there about the skills Mwanga will bring to the pitch; for me I prefer to ‘wait and see’ before going into more detail.
Watch for how ‘compact’ our back-four plays; the wider the strikers for LA pull us outside of the 18 Yard box the more space they create for players like Beckham and Donovan to do their damage.
Watch for how well we win the battle of getting corners and free kicks in-or-around their 18 Yard box; 90% of all goals scored in professional soccer are scored with ‘two-touches’ or less. And 50% of those 90% are goals scored from set-pieces.
Last but not least – BOTH teams will be hungry to get three points; expect a fast paced game – lots of options available for Spencer on who plays where this game. I will post what I think will be the starting 11 later this week; need to do some more research on who’s healthy and not overseas.
Strike low and hard to the far post!