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Through the Looking Glass: When do the Timbers get their first win?

In considering the game this past weekend I'm of two minds: the first mind is saying that it was great to see the Timbers walk away with a clean sheet, the second one is saying "it's another draw" and while you can't lose by drawing you certainly aren't going to move up the league table (very quickly) without getting three points soon.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The question then becomes when do the Portland Timbers get their first win?

Well, the Vancouver Whitecaps have started with six points in three games - two wins and a loss - so the Timbers' next game won't be easy.

The Timbers' next two games are at home, but they are against FC Dallas and Orlando City - two very tough teams early on, and neither one a is real slouch at defending. Next it is away to Jason Kreis's New York City FC, the Seattle Sounders, then back home to face Vancouver again, and then Montreal on the road.

In all that kerfuffle it could be (seriously) seven games before the Timbers really have a great chance of taking three points. Even if their defense holds, that is just nine points in nine games!

Why the dismal outlook? To be honest, I'm not sure the safe thing is going to work - so far the primary attacking side gets to see four regular players get involved in the attack and that has only resulted in two goals through three games.

Here's another take on the Timbers: Seattle has gone out and gotten two top-flight strikers and in two games this year their average percentage of shots on goal is a stunning 62%, while their percentage of shots converted is also a stunning 61%. Not even FC Dallas - with a perfect three wins - can boast such high numbers.

FC Dallas's quality in front of the box hovers at 42% and 43% respectively, while the Timbers numbers are ~42% and ~17%. All the while, the Timbers average 11 shots taken a game, the same as FC Dallas and two more per game than Seattle.

To say the least, the midfield system linking to the lone striker is not working; perhaps it's time for Maximiliano Urutti and Fanendo Adi, or some other possible tandem, to pair up.

We've seen a number of teams do well in that bog-standard, two-striker formation and if it is going to happen any time soon this next week may present a great opportunity.

With Alvas Powell out and no likely top-flight candidate to step in (perhaps Jeanderson?) I wonder if we might see Jack Jewsbury slotting back into the right Fullback slot and Maxi Urutti coming on (to start) - all with the intent of having Diego Chara play the single holding midfielder with a two striker tandem.

NOTE: This may be unlikely given the current injury situation.

And yes, I do know that Caleb's first choice is not to run those two at a tandem - but the energy Maxi brings is far superior to the slowed-down-game of Gaston Fernandez.

What do you think?

Best, Chris