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).
@ChrisWGluck on Twitter