Brilliance to Begin and Beggaring Belief to End…

How the Timbers started and finished the game Saturday night couldn’t have gone any better as they took three points for the first time this season.

Granted DC United got two goals but……. Portland got three.  And as hard as it was to believe, their closing goal was even more dramatic than their opening goal… Wow!

As a Timbers supporter it is unlikely you missed the game Saturday – if not part of the crowd you were surely watching in the dry confines of your home; if you weren’t shame on you.

In talking to the guys who routinely set up the Timbers Army Kiosk every home game, before the game, we had a discussion on what dramatic event was most memorable from last year.

At least three came to mind that I recall – the last second header by Baptiste that got three points against LA Galaxy, the roar from the crowd “PT-FC” at the last home game? and the sentimental favorite – the feeling most got during the Atticus event.

In considering the lack of wild moments this year I’m sure this dramatic late goal sits atop for 2014 – whether or not it replaces any of those above from last year is hard to tell but let it be said – the Timbers were timely and technical in their tactical finish of technically timed tactics as full time was called.

Seeing that here’s just a few bits and pieces for consideration; apart from a the general improvement in Passing Accuracy these last few games…

For me the most notable trend is the lack of Yellow Cards conceded in the last two games… while that might mean much to some it’s speaks to a more disciplined defensive approach – especially after seeing four Penalty Kicks conceded in the first five games.

  • Timing is everything and while some training can take place midweek to correct those mistakes the bulk of that (anti-yellow card training) is usually “mental” and in the clubhouse where the coaching staff pretty much spells it out.  ‘Stop giving away PK’s and stop the harsh tackling; if you don’t you’re playing time will reflect your lack of discipline’…
  • DC United came to town with the intent to cross the ball during the run of play – in the 29 crosses offered up this game only one, the own-goal by Futty Danso, struck home – so while 30% (10) of those crosses were successful it really boils down to having just one of those crosses having value. I’d offer that the training last week worked well.

In closing…

The challenge next weekend, against LA Galaxy, may be no different; I say “may” because when LA traveled to RSL earlier this year they offered up just 8 crosses.  But when playing RSL at home they offered up 41 crosses.

By comparison they put in 25 crosses against Colorado this weekend and failed to score. Arena plays crafty – watch this space… more to follow.

Best, 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, PTFC Collective and Prost Amerika.

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