Yesterday saw a Portland Timbers side that was remarkable similar to the 2011 and 2012 squads we had all grown accustom to. About 30 minutes in, as I was twiddling my thumbs waiting for something to happen, it hit me. This is the style of play that the Portland Timbers convinced me was decent soccer over the last couple seasons. Dumbfounded by my realization, I began to strongly desire the team from Sunday night.
Anyway, I digress a bit.
Truth is last night saw a team that was mostly comprised of trialists and youth players. Players we should perhaps not expect as much out of at this stage in their development or having only been training with the team for a short time, like Frederic Piquionne.
That said, the match did have some positives we could latch on to:
Jose Adolfo Valencia never gave up
Wow this guy just never quits. While it was unfortunate he never really got the service he needed to slot one home, he certainly put up a valiant effort. At one point, I found myself thinking: "He has to get tired at some point... right?"
He might not be ready for prime time just yet, but he's certainly an exciting prospect for the future.
Dylan Tucker-Gangnes continues to impress
We saw him on Sunday night as well where he made some impressive tactical saves and he pretty much kept the pace last night. I won't go so far as to say he should be starting just yet, but if he keeps it up I could definitely see him featuring prominently in the Timbers' future. Solid #34 overall pick by the Timbers in the SuperDraft.
The defense was actually a little better overall
Granted FC Dallas isn't quite the opposing offensive force that the San Jose Earthquakes are, the defense was still able to hold steady for much of the game despite repeated attacks by David Ferreira and company. In fact, I would go so far as to say last night's defense was far better than Sunday nights. Perhaps Caleb Porter should mesh the two heading into Saturday's game against AIK? Just a thought.
What positives were you able to take away from last night's preseason friendly?
Note: Our recap is coming later today!