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Match Analysis (Timbers 2 – San Jose 2) Plus my What to Watch For in today’s match against RSL

Match Analysis (Timbers 2 San Jose 2) and WTWF Timbers vs RSL

Not sure you’ll need a bevvy for this analysis as my intent is to keep this one short…

I have been pretty frustrated about the overall result of the Timbers vs San Jose game for three days now and I’m still not sure what I want to offer for your consideration apart from two things.

ONE: This was a brutal and brilliant game for many reasons and it appeared to me that every player on PTFC gave 110% to try and take away three points. So when I read the quote after this game I was scratching my head; especially after I went back and read the quote by Gavin Wilkinson after the game in New York. Here they are:

a. Thoughts on results: (GW after San Jose game) “I think you have to give San Jose full credit there. They are a very talented team; they have a lot of self-belief and a tremendous coaching staff. You start to look at what they bring game in and game out, and they feed off that emotion. When Wondo [Wondolowski] got that first goal, they could smell a little bit of blood and they went after it. I was very proud of our guys and how hard they worked.”

b. On his team’s performance: (GW after the New York game) “I think this was possibly our best road performance in a year and a half. We came out, we had numerous chances. Their keeper came up with three phenomenal saves. We had a good chance at the end there.”

c. I don’t get it – I just don’t get it. How on earth can the head coach offer up a “bended knee” blurb about giving San Jose credit for a game like this when the performance by the PTFC players far exceeded that of their performance in New York? IMHO that offering by Gavin Wilkinson was bollocks; complete and utter bollocks; especially when the players got one point out of this game and nil-pwah out of the New York game.

TWO: Substitutions – which was one of my What to Watch For’s. Gavin made two substitutions in this game that I’m having trouble understanding.

a. The first was bringing on Bright Dike, a young player with almost no time playing the 4-4-2, for Kris Boyd. Why didn’t Gavin bring on Mike Fucito, another young player, with extensive time playing the 4-4-2 formation; especially if the intent was to rest Bright Dike for this game today against RSL?

b. The second was bringing on Eric Brunner for Danny Mwanga. Others may know better but I can’t recall a time where Eric Brunner has ever played a central midfield defending role; while Eric Alexander has done this with some success. By bringing on Eric Brunner to play that role it appeared to me to clog the 6 yard box with too many players. You may disagree with this but for me I would offer it directly led to the defensive confusion that gave San Jose the opportunity to equalize.

So in closing I’m wondering whether or not the concentration that is needed by the head coach is ebbing now that the season is winding down and he knows Caleb Porter will be coming in soon. And what does that ‘ebb’ in concentration translate to when considering PTFC still have an opportunity to win the Cascadia Cup? Perhaps the greatest risk to PTFC not winning that cup is not the players but the concentration of the head coach when making tactical decisions that can win or lose a game for this team? My WTWF against RSL; the head coach decisions being made for substitutions as the game progresses.

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.