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Match Analysis – Portland Timbers (2) Real Salt Lake (4)

A bitter pill to swallow after a grueling match in Rio Tinto last night…

No part quotes here; if you want to see all of them (Porter, McKenzie, Ricketts, Kreis, Beckerman and Gil) here’s a link to keep the context of the quote intact and unedited…

For now here’s my thoughts for your consideration on this game and the outcome/result…

  • From the get-go things looked okay; NBC announced the starting lineup and formation and indicated the Timbers were in their familiar 4-3-3 formation with Zemanski tagged as the right fullback, Wallace had moved into the middle and Alhassan was up top… not a major change in player personnel by any stretch.
  • So let the game begin…  Ah… the twist… within two minutes Zemanski wasn’t a right fullback anymore – the Timbers had slid into a 3-4-3… “hmmm….”
  • 7 minutes later Beckerman passed to Plata who played a through-ball to Gil on the right side of the 18 yard box and it’s one-nil.
  • Less than 7 minutes later, again, Grabavoy (with options left or right) played another ball to Plata (left) who took it, turned it, and shot it to the far post with a trailing Gil to pick up any rebounds and it was two-nil.
  • I’m not sure how Portland kept a clean sheet the rest of the first half but with Valeri clearly indicating his injury (abductor strain?) on the pitch Real lightened up a bit and Nagbe played a punishing strike to the far post past an outstretched (finger touching the ball) Rimando… 2-1.
  • With Valeri out Powell comes on and the team converts to a 4-3-3; Zemanski remains in the middle and whether intentional or not (in my view not intentional) he made a sliding tackle and as part of the follow-through his raised leg took out Grabavoy’s ankle…  with Toledo as the Referee is it any real surprise he pulled the red card and sent him off…
  • After that what really mattered was whether or not Portland could squeeze back an early second half equalizer and ‘park the bus’ for a point.
  • Didn’t happen and for anyone who loves football, in general, Morales played a superb wheel-kick at the 55′ mark to pretty much seal the game.

Notables in my view…

  • Rawshuan McKenzie got his first start last night and did well; he showed calm and level headed play and stayed within his role…
  • Powell really will impact and influence this game as he matures… wow… with a full 11 on the pitch the danger and intensity he brings to the right side bodes well for the future…
  • Nagbe – what a wonder strike at 31′ in!  With the Real Salt Lake concentration in a slight relaxed tenor with Valeri drawing the attention of most as he limped towards the sideline Nagbe took advantage and drove a low-far post shot past the finger-tipped stretch of Rimando… superb.
  • Horst, Futty and Dike all played in the Reserve match today…  that is a good thing!

No statistics today… Holiday weekend…

Next up Possession with Purpose update.  Here’s a glimpse…

  1. Possession with Purpose (Entire pitch)
  2. Possession with Purpose (Final Third)
  3. Dispossession with Purpose (Entire Pitch)
  4. Dispossession with Purpose (Final Third)
  5. Goals Scored
  6. Goals Against

To wet the appetite – Only nine of 19 teams have the greatest correlation between Points in the League Table and Goals Scored!  

That means over half of the teams in MLS have other indicators that have a better correlation to their own Points in the League Table than just goals scored…

 

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.