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Storylines: Portland Timbers v LAFC

The new kids come to town

Real Sociedad de Futbol v Atletico Madrid - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

The Story So Far

Well, well well - would you look at that, the Portland Timbers have now won 4 in a row, a feat the club has only done twice. Thanks to the Seattle Sounders, we catapulted our way up the table to fifth place, just one point out of fourth and only two points out of second. Once again, Sebastian Blanco came through scoring the game’s only goal.

The Fish remain bottom feeders.

Now it’s on to the new kids on the block: Los Angeles Football Club. LAFC are showing that they’re not to be underestimated. As far as an expansion side, the numbers speak for themselves.

Yeah, they’re pretty good, currently sitting second in the West and only 3 points behind Sporting Kansas City who occupy the top spot. They will be a handful for a Timbers squad that hasn’t conceded a goal in 279 minutes.

A is for Attinella

Four matches, four clean sheets, four wins.

He’s been on fire since returning from an injury that kept him from starting the season between the pipes. Since his return, he’s been a revelation; the Timbers haven’t conceded in 279 minutes, and Attinella hasn’t conceded in 331 dating back to last season. Our author slash goalkeeper has been a tough nut to crack.

As long as the backline keeps playing like they have, then there is a shot at extending those minutes on Saturday. LAFC has a lot of weapons that will be looking to take out the Timbers defense and add on to their formidable 4-2-0 road record. Keep an eye on the back line, as they’ll be called into action early and often.

V is for Vela

This is a guy that just a few months ago was playing in the Spanish first division with La Real, and now he’s scoring goals in MLS. While LAFC has other dangerous players, Vela is the most dangerous. He leads his team in goals with six from the number ten spot just underneath striker Marco Ureña.

Ureña is out with a facial fracture which required surgery. Against NYCFC, they rolled out their 4-2-3-1, with Diego Rossi as the lone striker and Vela playing on the left side of that three man midfield. With Vela you have a versatile player who can play anywhere across the midfield or even as the loan striker up top.

If he starts on the left again, look for him to make cutting runs inside from out wide. NYCFC did a terrible job of marking Vela for most of the match last weekend - allowing him to notch his goal. He caused all sorts of problems for New York’s back line on and off the ball.

Currently, he’s tied for fourth in goals and third in shots taken (43) in MLS. His teammate Diego Rossi sits second in assists with 6, behind Alejandro Romero Gamarra of NYRB. This is a team that’s not to be taken lightly. I haven’t even mentioned Latif Blessing who plays on the other side of that three man midfield. He’s been known to cause problems for defenses as well.

R is for Rose City

Lets get that fifth win!

We’re beginning to see just how this team is going to play in the new system as the 4-3-2-1 has become Gio’s go-to formation. I think it still needs some fleshing out a bit, but other than that - why fix what isn’t broken?

Will we see David Guzman return to the lineup? Possibly.

He was fit, but held out of the 18 last week on a ‘coach's decision’ - which seems to be a term for when nobody really wants to talk about it. We could see him in (at least) the 18 this weekend; as of Wednesday coach Gio Savarese said that Guzman is match fit. He’s already made his team’s World Cup roster, but I’d assume he’ll get some playing time between now and the big ball. So what would you do with Guzman? Start him or keep him on the bench and ease him back into the lineup?

Lots of questions surrounding Mr. Guzman.

While Sebastian Blanco leads the team in goals, I’d really like to see Adi get back on the score sheet. I know he’s got two goals and two assists, but I expect more from him. I’m hoping that with Samuel Armenteros around, he gets pushed to perform. He’s pulled a disappearing act more than once this season.

It’s time that Armenteros pushes Adi, and that Armenteros pushes hard enough to maybe pick up a start or two.


What do you do with Guzman?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Start Him
    (24 votes)
  • 89%
    Start On Bench
    (210 votes)
234 votes total Vote Now