If you were expecting to see significant tactical changes against Nashville (weak expansion side) compared to the pathetic controlled possession we saw against Minnesota I pity you.
Yes, Portland got three points, at home. But should we be satisfied with that result?
Many will argue yes, as in four or five weeks time we’ll forget everything about the game but the three points garnered. I won’t and nor should you.
Apart from 40 seconds of sustained possession leading to a brilliant volley by Valeri, Portland again, looked horrible.
The tactical swap of Polo for Paredes was not tactical at all – nothing really changed when it came to controlled possession and penetration. The same gaps I saw last week (moving from the backfour through the midfield to the final third remained.
If anything it got worse as evidenced by Portland shooting the ball only three times towards goal – whereas last week they shot 14 times towards goal.
And the additional tactical swap (as many but not me, called for) of Ebobisse late in the second half, led to nothing either. I’d almost offer they had even less of the ball after he came on then before he entered.
I initially raised the flag last week that Gio simply isn’t good enough to mold his team into a multidimensional attacking force – I stand by that and submit, now, he’ll be replaced by the end of the year.
One of my followers offered that Gio did get the team to the finals three years ago – I gently reminded them that season was on the coattails of Porter and one of the primary assistant coaches, Sean McAuley, was still with the team. Since Sean has gone Portland really haven’t looked good at all.
Might Sean McAuley be a target to replace Gio by years’ end – I kinda hope so.
Anyhow, I’m going to continue to ride the lack of creativity and controlled possession with purpose by Portland the rest of this year. Since the beginning of 2019, Savarese has shown no credible ability to lead this team in playing anything but the predictable, and highly ineffective, counterattacking football.
This unimaginative style of play is never going to earn Merritt Paulson the hardware he so clearly expressed he wanted from this year.
Recall, in the first half Portland showed 40 seconds of controlled, sustained possession leading to the Diego Valeri goal.
What that really means is for 3560 seconds of soccer Portland failed to possess and penetrate with any semblance of control.
Here’s how Portland stands in the Total Soccer Index after 2 weeks – as you can see 3 points is a good thing. They’ve moved from second last to mid-table.
For the math/statistical wizards out there note the correlation to points earned is higher using my Total Soccer Index, than simply using Goal Differential.
Meaning points are important but how you play (your style) will add or detract from simply scoring goals.