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Early WTWF – Timbers vs San Jose

With this team having games so close to each other I figured they probably won’t spend a lot of time trying to work through ‘what went wrong’ this game and will instead focus on ‘what needs to go right the next game’; so in keeping with that spirit here’s my early WTWF for San Jose…

One-v-one battles in midfield – this WTWF will probably be here every game from now on… lots of things going on here and lots of things not going on here… – we are on a small pitch, at home again, so the run of play should hopefully be different than Colorado… I am not too familiar with San Jose so can’t speak to their quality per-say but to date their results have been great – they lead the conference so execution of their system seems to be the ‘norm’… to beat a team who has been executing effectively you need to get in their face – physically and mentally – put them off, tug shorts, pull shirts, foul hard but nicely 🙂 give them the verbal (call ’em wankers, tossers, everything you can to put them off) — kinda like what we did to TSUN…

Wingers – Reverse overlapping — With a very offensive minded team having our wingers track back to fill voids in space or support the defensive side of the pitch is critical to us keeping a clean sheet. Sadly Chara is out, Mosco is out, and Brunner is out so our defensive midfielder and two center backs really need to communicate and play tight with the fullbacks. I could see us lining up with Jewsbury as the midfielder in place of Chara which means we see a new face in left back; maybe Purdy? maybe kowulak? IDK… others probably have a better feel for that than me. Futty and Horst will play in the middle and Smith will return on the right… I suppose Palmer could slot in above the back four but I’m not sure Spencer will do that… Palmer got booked for a stoooopid play on the weekend so he may be stubborn and keep him on the bench to start with.

CDM: Who takes on this role is just as critical as how Spencer adjusts his midfield without Chara… no single player has consistently performed as well as Chara has – his not being in the side will be a critical gap to fill.

Linkage to our Strikers (direct ball and long ball): I have some thoughts brewing here that may raise a few eyebrows because I’m not sure we are getting the most out of our strikers in the roles they currently have; I expect Boyd to track back more, or Mwanga, whoever has that primary feeder role… for now though I offer up for the sharks to feed on how well we create space and execute our linkage between the defenders and strikers (long balls) as well as our midfield and strikers (direct through balls) in the attacking third of our pitch.

I am hopeful we get three points from this game but would be ‘okay’ with us taking one point…

Chris Gluck

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.