Portland Timbers

Timbers lose 2-nil to Colorado

Not since Caleb Porter has been in charge have the Timbers offered up lower totals (across the board) in attacking the final third. Clearly today was not a banner day for the Timbers.

Give credit where credit is due – the Rapids outplayed the Timbers in almost every category today… solid team result for the Rapids and something for Mastroeni to work from as his team works to rebuild after the betrayal of Pareja.

Bottom line – The Timbers had their lowest total number of passes offered in the final third (66) and their lowest total number of passes successfully made (40) since Caleb has arrived. Yes, there were 7 shots taken – their lowest output in shots barring their victories last year against LA (5 shots) Colorado (6 shots) LA again (7 shots) and San Jose (7 shots and a draw)…

To clarify what I mean… here’s a diagram covering some key bits of info for Timbers games in 2013 that had similar characteristics. The blue line represents the total number of passes offered in this game while the red, green and other bars represent key indicators in the attacking final third.

Comparisons to Last Year

Comparisons to Last Year

Observations:

Caleb noted that the team worked towards their strategy and were doing well; the statistics support his thoughts to an extent.

In looking at the outputs there were times last year where Portland got three points, a draw or a loss – in this particular game – after those PK’s the obvious was a loss.

But does the outcome speak more to Portland being in a bad position for about a five minute stretch or does the outcome speak more to Colorado learning from last year – i.e. – yield more possession to the Timbers outside the final third – but when Portland penetrates close down and close down quickly?

I think it is the latter of the two with Colorado learning from last year…

Besides lack of penetration and creation of goal scoring opportunities a few other statistics to consider – the Timbers had just one, yes one, Throw-in in the final third and they were offside 8 times…

So even though the Timbers were very effective in the midfield when it came to defending and recovering the ball there were two specific instances that, while isolated, weren’t unique. All game long the Rapids had done well penetrating down their left side – so to call that an isolated incident is probably inaccurate.

With that said I’m not going to harp on anything else – it’s not appropriate. These guys are professionals – they’ll be more pissed about the result of this game than any supporter will be.

The most productive thing to do about a game like this is to put it as far behind as possible and move on. A short memory is critical in a long season…

That’s all today…

Best Regards,
Chris

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.