19 Comments

https://youtu.be/EViNWZw2b5k

Touch compilation for Ayala vs Seattle.

He had a really nice game. Honestly I’m most impressed with his communication on the field. He’s talking constantly to his teammates, pointing to where he wants the ball or pointing to a teammate that the player with the ball should pass to. Doing all that at the age of 20 is pretty impressive to me. He’s also not afraid to get on the ball and command the play, which is something I’ve criticized Paredes for in the past.

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My biggest wish is that the Timbers don't devolve into a team where wins against Seattle are the measuring stick of a season, the way a 1-11 college football team thinks their season is fine because at least their one win was against their biggest rival. "At least we beat the Sounders" doesn't really bring me a lot of comfort if the Timbers are one of the 38% of teams that doesn't make the ridiculously generous playoffs.

I love watching the Timbers beat the Sounders, don't get me wrong, but as you say if this doesn't spur them on to start consistently playing better and making a dent in the league as a whole, winning a rivalry game doesn't mean a whole hell of a lot to me for more than a day.

Hopefully Cincinnati will be like picking up where they left off - it's clear from the last 20 of Saturday that they have the ability, but do they have the mentality?

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Two things that stood out to me:

1. Attacking is a lot easier when you can run at the defenders. Goals 3 & 4 really showcased that quick counter attack that the Timbers prefer -- with so many injuries maybe that wasn't as feasible in previous games, both from tired legs and from lacking the correct players

2. It was nice to see the team shoot the ball. Goals 1, 3, and 4 weren't truly amazing opportunities, and it was nice to see players shoot rather than the usual waiting for the perfect pass. Though, that probably is a function of the first point: a lot easier to put a powerful shot on target when you are moving straight to the opposite goal

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A couple notes: Window closes Monday. We’re supposed to be adding a CB, yeah?

Secondly: I pushed back on your score line prediction saying it was very bold to predict multiple goals for the Timbers. I was right for 75 minutes. Sometimes it’s better to be happy than right. But big props to you for knowing this unknowable league and rivalry.

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Since most everything on this site is about the thorns and this is the most recent article on the Timbers, I have no choice but to put my comment on the upcoming match here. All the talk about Gio not getting the job done with this team have brought up legitimate points that I agree with some but not all. My biggest gripe about Gio is it often looks like he doesn't get the team revved up and ready to come out fired up on road matches. I know it's tough for all teams to win on the road, but the Timbers too often don't look very ready coming out on the road. It was great they found the fire in them to erupt on rival Seattle, but they need to have that and show it in all of their other matches and that is the current question about this team.

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Would loved to have watch the match, but like some of us fans we don't have access/ can't afford subscriptions to Apple TV etal. I know "its business" but I don't have to like it. I listen on the radio but the play-by-play (pass-by-pass) of the match just isn't there on the broadcast. Watching on the comuter isn't mutch better.

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6 days later... an admission. I didn't wonder if we'd win, rather how many goals would we ship. Having suffered the 6 goal disgrace a few years back, I feared the worst. When Ruidiaz finally broke through, I wondered if these Timbers could keep it close.

And I was wrong. Happily.

But the match leaves me with questions -

1. Is Evander healthy? Inspired? Still learning the league?

2. How much better has David Ayala become in a year? (seemingly a lot)

3. What if we had a physio who could keep our midfield healthy?

4. Will anyone be scared of Franck Boli up top?

5. Will Jaro's clean up of a double drop from Frei reignite his high goals per minute pre ACL

6. How long before someone offers mad money (by MLS standards) for Mosquera?

7. Between a healthy Paredes and Ayala - who gets the nod?

8. Can any of the ruthlessness shown in the last 20 minutes carry over to Cincy - and can we beat after a long flight?

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What stood out: (Aside from Asprilla's goal that seemed to ignite everything)

Fogaca should start. Santi is a 10. Paredes and Chara in the engine room works like a charm.

If it were up to me:

Fogaca .... Boli .... Mosquera

.................Santi .........

......chara ..........Paredes

Bravo ... McGraw .. Zup ... Miller

.....................Ivavcic

Evander will work out, but clearly Santi comes alive in the middle. He's a 10, not a winger. It does make me wonder why they brought in a 10 when they had one.

Ayala is coming along, but I prefer Paredes and his athleticism. When the team went on its run last year, Paredes was a part of it. Perhaps it will be Ayala and Paredes together in the future.

Mosquera is a good RB, but I'd like to see him terrorizing RBs on the regular as a RW. Miller would just have to play D.

The squad needs goal scorers on the field, and they seem to come alive when they have multiple forwards on the field at the same time. So, bring them on at the same time. Start Fogaca and Boli. Fogaca just showed he can cut in and shoot and I'm sure he could dribble out wide so put him out on the wing. The roster has more forwards than anything else on the squad, so use them. Also, Niezgoda is going to be a good option. Trust me on this.

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