Ever since their thrashing at the hands of Seattle Sounders around mid-season this year the Portland Timbers have been a team on a mission. Win, Win, and then Win again.
No team in MLS has done better since August 21st than Portland… No one.
Why is this and how, exactly, did that manifest itself in Colorado Thanksgiving day yesterday?
Well, it WASN’T down to Expected Goals (like www.mlssoccer.com Charles Boehm offers) just exactly how ignorant does he think the American soccer supporter really is, lest I forget about all you “full kit wankers”? Nor was it down to failed progression in penetrating possession by Colorado (based off statistics).
In case you didn’t know “Expected Goals” is NOT a statistical forecasting tool. Sorry, I just can’t NOT diss any writer who uses a statistical tool that has absolutely NO CORRELATION to points earned/lost…
In short……….. It was down to grist, grit, and nous knowing that set-pieces can win games. And with their star player taking a fall from a hamstring injury it was clear that grist was their avenue to victory.So what’s next for Portland? Well, to be honest, the opponent doesn’t matter – Savarese will take the same approach but use a few different players. I’ll not comment about Dairon Asprilla, just say I told you so.
Here’s what I hope – Diego Valeri gets a start and offers his magic for at least 60 minutes of play – what better way to end a swan song of a season than to go out with his boots on and a sweaty man-bun.
Good luck to Portland.
Best, Chris Gluck