Like just about everyone last night I was gutted and frustrated and narked all at the same time – it simply gets me in all the wrong spots when a Referee completely blows a call that turns a game on its head.

You wouldn’t know the frustration that Caleb Porter felt because he didn’t voice any negativity in the post-match with the TV guys…

And that lack of usual zest and kicking the sand up is what’s got me intrigued on how the rest of the MLS Regular Season will take shape this year.

Will we see the same back four get run out the rest of the season hoping that they gel better and develop a winning chemistry?  

I think so… the swinging door policy on who plays in the back is probably going to stop – at least for regular season games; barring injury.

So that brings me to this Tuesday evening at Providence Park – is this the time we see Norberto Paparatto again?  Or Danny O’Rourke?  What about Jack Jewsbury?

Jack’s playing time in the back-four has taken a significant hit these last few weeks…

And what about Michael Harrington?

Chances are Michael plays on Tuesday – if anything to save the legs of Jorge Villafana for the weekend match against Vancouver.

And you’ll notice I’ve said nothing about the attacking side of the pitch… there simply isn’t any need to do that!

In most everyone’s mind Diego Valeri has got to be one of the top players in all of MLS this year.

He simply wins games and helps his team win games… only guys like Keane or Henry or Donovan have usually been associated with tags like that – yet Diego probably makes a fraction of what those guys make.

Simply stated – what a superb player!!!

So a reasonable path forward???

Lost of philosophies out there.

But the toughest nut to crack is understanding that in this league, at this time, with the salary cap and all the other strings attached to the puppets, top quality players, in all 11 positions, simply isn’t going to happen.

And until the foreign player limitation rules are eliminated, and the salary cap is more a control mechanism to manage ‘fair play’ than an investment limiter, many of us will usually have some sort of frustration when we see outcomes that could/should be better but aren’t.

In the near future I’d expect the Champions League effort to be huge. if not almost primary.  

Perhaps Caleb and his staff are playing (mums the word) on knowing the quality of Olimpia?

Hard to say, but if there ever was a time for another 3 or 4 goal outburst while also getting a clean sheet it’s this next Tuesday.

Even more so if the final run to the Playoff race doesn’t pan out.

In Closing…

Too many mistakes this year – be them real or imaginary.

An average of 3.69 fouls per game in the defending final third doesn’t help – it’s a “continuously clear” indicator that the midfielders and defenders are routinely out of position…

And again, after listening to Caleb in the post-match, I think he’s to the point where he’s done wasting his breath on the Captain Obvious.

And it’s not like it’s wait to next year – it isn’t… there remains a chance – a very good chance.

MLS destiny awaits next weekend – for now it’s all about the CCL…

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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