We didn't do much post game coverage for the Portland Timbers' Wednesday night match against Norwich City F.C. so today I am taking a quick look at some of the Timbers that we have not seen much from outside the reserves this season.
There were good and bad moments in each player's shift on Wednesday, so for each player I've included some of the positives and negatives that caught my eye. As an added bonus, at practice today I asked Caleb Porter who impressed him in the game and he rattled off a quick list of players that came to mind.
Positives: Great shot stopping, his tip to knock Nathan Redmond's 37' shot into the crossbar instead of the back of the net was excellent.
Negatives: Looked hesitant coming off his line for balls in the air.
Positives: Good, quick shot stopping, especially impressive was his low, near-post save in the 75'; good command of the box, was able to snatch numerous crosses and corners out of the air.
Negatives: Looked very uncomfortable with the ball at his feet; failed to hold the ball several times, although never into traffic; questionable distribution.
Caleb says: "I thought Alvas Powell had a great debut. For a 19 year old kid to take the field and be as composed as he was, and even be able to show that he is up for a bit of a battle and that he is not shy, I thought that was a great sign."
Positives: Great, physical play; showed excellent foot skills when getting forward; defended well after some initial jitters.
Negatives: Could have been sent off after some early, rash challenges; inexperience and unfamiliarity with his teammates showed at times.
Caleb says: "Rauwshan McKenzie I thought looked very good. With Futty out he will step right in. It is good timing for him to have that type of game. Rauwshan is a guy that is very calm and you see that calm more in games. He seems to be a gamer."
Positives: Very calm play at the back; willing to carry the ball up the field when given space.
Negatives: Slow to recover and get back in position off the ball; not a great passer of the ball, which is kind of important on this team.
Many have argued that Kalif's creativity and offensive-minded play belong in the center of the pitch almost like a classic number 10 and that is the position that we saw him in against Norwich, something that we have not seen this year outside of the reserves.
Caleb Says: "In the second half he was all over the place and involved."
Positives: Creative play and precise passing, generally avoided the weak passes that have plagued him in the past; showed off some smart play to draw both Norwich centerbacks then find Valencia's right foot on the goal; applied high pressure throughout the game.
Negatives: Wore himself out by the 70' and resorted to trying to draw fouls rather than holding up the ball or finding a pass.
Positives: Held the ball well; accurate close in passing; in the right place at the right time.
Negatives: Not fast; long balls lack crispness.
We have seen plenty of Harrington this year, but not in the midfield.
Positives: Flowing hair.
Negatives: Went forward like a fullback rather than a midfielder, which was good for defending but not for pushing Norwich back and creating space.
Jose Adolfo Valencia
Trencito may have made a few late game appearances when the team is looking for a goal, but we saw him in a different role on Wednesday night as he went 71 minutes against the Canaries.
Caleb says: "I thought Jose made good steps forward. He was very dangerous in that second half especially. He scored a great goal and was a handful."
Positives: Scored; was able to repeatedly create space for himself and get shots off against seasoned defenders; made consistant runs both into the corners and in behind the defense.
Negatives: Gave up several good chances with his left foot to switch the ball to his right.
Positives: King of stepovers.
Negatives: His stepovers are often just a prelude to giving up the ball, especially against more experienced defenders.