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What to Watch For (Timbers vs Sounders) Today 12:30

Simple stuff for this game that won’t play out quite so simply; never does. But in keeping it simple here are my three WTWF’s as the game unfolds in a couple of hours.

WTWF #1 Back Four: Seattle has an aggressive and talented front line – if we play defense like we do on the road this game could get ugly. Playing tight and flat with plenty of support from the midfield is critical. I cannot imagine this team looking to risk an early goal against by getting out of shape early on. With Wallace most probably starting in place of Smith there will be a rusty player having to deal with Montero – how we manage that side (as we saw in Colorado) directly influences the far side. The wider we get pulled the worse… the midfielders must rotate back to support.

WTWF #2 Set Pieces: It’s always a possibility that a Set Piece will win a game between these two; the difference between 3 points and 1 point last time was a header by David Horst – perhaps we see that again.

WTWF #3 Penetration into their 18 yard box: Variation in penetrating their 18 is good; it stretches the defense and helps create unplanned 1-v-1’s. How our talent directly matches up with their defenders is just as critical to them as it is to us. My focus today is not on a particular player but instead on the collective approach by the team to systematically work the edges and pound the goal with shots.

Not much else this morning; a bit pushed for time. Should be a good game; I hope it’s a good game.

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.