Suffice it to say, last weekend didn’t go as planned.
Well, the Portland Timbers need to put last weekend behind them and look forward to the San Jose Earthquakes. The Earthquakes haven’t played at home since March. And the last MLS action they faced was on August 1st, as part of the MLS is Back tournament. So they’re are going to be a well rested squad.
The Timbers have a short turn around (on the road even) to run into a well rested club. The Timbers simply can’t play the way the played against the Sounders. I’ve personally blacked out those 90 minutes, looking for a fresh start.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Coach Giovanni Savarese rotates the squad a bit. But I don’t think he’ll stray too far from the lineup that took the field over the weekend. That means Diego Valeri, Diego Chara and Sebastian Blanco, but after that in the attack I’m not sure what he would go with. Though I’m always for Andy Polo getting more playing time, he’s look pretty decent so far this ‘season’.
Match Day Reading
This game in no way felt like a 3-0 game. For either team. A 0-0 final score would have been more indicative of the game than 3-0. A fluke goal off Clark’s arm, then a weird Mabiala mistake, then we were pushing so hard to catch up that we were wide open in the back. It might sound like sour grapes, but this game felt less like Seattle beating us and more like the soccer gods just wanting to be dicks.
If we see the Portland we saw in Orlando, the Timbers have the quality to pick up their first three post-bubble points. But if they play like they did on Sunday, they could be at the wrong end of another lopsided score line.
What is San Jose’s preferred style of play? How will they set up in possession?
The Earthquakes play a unique style in MLS under Almeyda, marked by a hard pressing style, high energy and man-to-man marking. Traditional positions are somewhat irrelevant, with games meant to look chaotic by design and players wandering all over the field to mark their man or try and find space. Other teams in MLS do some similar stylistic elements, but the Quakes are truly on their own when it comes to Almeyda’s helter-skelter style, and in Orlando, it mostly worked.
In Florida, the Quakes nominally played a 4-3-3, but again, you won’t see compact lines moving up and down the field. That’s just not how they do it. They’ll opt to move the ball upfield as quickly as possible and get as many chances as possible.
Portland Timbers - TBD
San Jose Earthquakes - TBD
Location: Earthquakes Stadium, San Jose California
Kick-off time: 7:30 pst/10:3 0 est
TV broadcast: Fox 12+, ESPN+
Rival SB Nation site: Centerline Soccer
Radio broadcast: 750 The Game (English) and La GranD 1150AM/93.5 FM (Spanish)