Home Opener Debacle in Attack as @Timbersfc lose 3-1 to @MNUFC

Portland Timbers opened the 2020 season at home for the first time in awhile and that’s about the only positive takeaway the soccer hungry supporters had.

In what I would offer was a horrible display of controlled possession the Timbers gave away three counterattacking goals to Minnesota while only scoring a PK early in the 2nd half.

In just over 90+ minutes of play Portland had just two shots on goal (excluding the penalty)!

  • 14 Shots
  • 513 total passes
  • 162 of those in the final third
    • 64% completion rate
    • that’s 104 completed passes resulting in 2 shots on target
    • yet they had 58% of possession in the game.

Forgetting the numbers.

As I watched this game I saw time and time again where a player with the ball was isolated and forced to make a bad passing decisions going forward or directly backwards.

Teammates at the angles were missing.

In a professional soccer game of 90+ minutes it is absolute insanity to think (and coach your players to think) you can score a goal with a counterattacking strategy every single time you possess the ball!

All told the game on Sunday afternoon provides a stunningly great example of how not to play good team soccer.

  • It was hurried.
  • It was uncontrolled.
  • And it completely reflects on how poorly this system of attack works.

Okay – there were three individual defensive mistakes.

  • Goal one against came from the goal keeper making a really poor decision.
  • Goal two against came from a center-back not marking his player at the far post.
  • Goal three against came from a center-back ball watching on the near post.

In soccer individual player mistakes happen and those players know that – as does the coach.

What’s not supposed to happen are collective team tactical flaws in playing connected, controlled soccer.

That flaw is down to one person – the Head Coach.

It’s going to be a very long season if this style of play continues – Merritt Paulson has invested a lot of money nd he made it clear about a week ago his expectations are high!

If Gio Savarese doesn’t retool the entire attacking scheme (sharpish) he’ll get sacked – the question now is how much time does he have?

Here’s how Portland stands in the MLS Total Soccer Index Power Ranking; Portland are second to last (25th out of 26).

Best, Chris

@ChrisWGluck on Twitter



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