Geometrical Analysis of Portland Timbers play; Art of soccer play

Portland Timbers and Man City create many geometrical shapes to run, triangles, rectangles,
squares, polygons, pentagons, cyclics, this is paradise for Pythagoras.

Despite it has not been stable season for Portland Timbers, they are the one of the best team in the MLS; Moreover, there is some reason why it happened. A long known fact if a team start the Champions League season, the team may lost a MLS season, Sporting Kansas City already had a bitter experience in the 2019 season.

In spite of being the fact, Portland Timbers coped to get back the season with the Giovanni Savarese’s flexible tactic. The coach changes a tactic, a formation because of several reasons: Different opponent styles, injures and physical fit of some players and etc. Lost of Eryk Williamson was hurt for the team, but it did not destroy them; It is the one example of many others when the team finds the play balance.

Giovanni Savarese has many formations and play styles in his pocket and it allows to squeeze maximum out of any moment. But there is one formation, one style that is like Eiffel Tower, the Rachmaninoff’s third, Pieta, it would call the ex-wife. created by Pep Guardiola. 'Course, Portland Timbers do not play like Man City, it is almost inconceivable levels of technical proficiency, but Giovanni Savarese took some elements of the team like other teams from MLS and other leagues.

The both teams create many geometrical shapes to run, triangles, rectangles, squares, polygons, pentagons, cyclics, this is paradise for Pythagoras.

The piece will tell about the elements.


Steve Clark is the one of the best goalkeeper in the MLS. He makes any save magically, miraculously. He doesn't have any specific role in the team. He just tries to save the goal inviolability during a match.


Defense movements like in any top team start far from the last line, from opponents goal, they are very tenacious to that way. They use a very aggressive pressing, sometimes it is a smart pressing it depends from a specific game. Wing Defenders take a expand along their defense line expanding opposite lines to get some gape inside the lines to make a pass into the spaces creating some scoring opportunity into a box.

Taking a defense, Portland Timbers players squeeze their opponents into wings to extinguish their attack movements creating a square or a rectangle.

In the Giovanni Savarese's team, wings backs turn into box-to-box midfielders or sometimes into additional wingers. They create a scoring opportunity for his team along opponents' box making pass into the space or run in. Josecarlos Van Rankin and Claudio Bravo do it awesome.

Look at this, it is awesome, what the beautiful polygons around from Portland Timbers and Man City. The Timbers’ is not worse than that original one. Open it.


In their 4-2-3-1 formation, they don't have traditional midfielders, they usually move to offense deeply creating additional forwards. Eryck Willamson and Yimmi Chara are very technical soccer players. They take a race into a box and late runs into a box giving big problems their opponents.

The 4-2-3-1 formation is a constant for the team for a game, it always changes depending from a situation. When taking a deep pressing, Portland Timbers transform into 4-2-4, or during offense transforming into 2-4-4 or 2-2-6. It is a big risk but they do it.


Giovanni Savarese preaches a super total football like Johan Cruyff, Pep Guardiola and Matias Almeyda. The team always change their positions during any offense. Diego Valeri, Dairon Asprilla, Felipe Mora, Andy Polo always change their position around opponents’ box, they can appear everywhere on right or left wing and on the edge to take a shot or create a scoring opportunity for their team. Josecarlos Van Rankin, Claudio Bravo, Eryck Willamson and Yimmi Chara are supporters of any their team’s offense inside a box. For any offense movement, transform into 3 forwards, at the moment Andy Polo moves deeper, sometimes into his defenders line to support the area from opponents movements into the space. He took both roles, an advanced playmaker and an inside forward with more wide responsibilities outgoing beyond the classical understanding of the positions.


Despite has not been a stable season, the Timbers have pretty good change to cling into the next part of the championship and make some noise around. Besides the final of the conference does not seem impossible to get into. Anyway the Timbers only start to gain the momentum.

Hit the comment what do you think of the magical geometry?


This FanPost was written by a Stumptown Footy community member and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the site or its staff.