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Portland Week: Early Analysis

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Timbers FC is off to a poor start in 2014. They are 0-2-2 -3 GD so far, both ties came at home. Their fundamental stats say they shouldn't be this bad, but they may just be.

That's quality defense right there
That's quality defense right there
Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Against FC Dallas Portland Timbers FC showed some weaknesses. These weaknesses are not just related to injury (Nagbe, Zakuani, Wallace) nor to red card (Ricketts, Harrington), but things that all relate to defense. Matthew Doyle breaks it down to three major issues;

  1. Paparatto is poor/slow
  2. Lack of wide separation
  3. Trouble with set-plays

If you look at Seattle's strengths according to WhoScored.com they line up well with those last two issues.

Seattle_strengths_medium

Aerial duels in some ways relates to set-play success. Seattle's wide play is Yedlin and Remick powered. But where Seattle should be able to eat lunch is with Obafemi Martins against Norberto Paparatto and the channel between he and Jack Jewsbury.

Continue drooling.

Your keyboard is getting wet. Wipe that up.

It's not all sunshine. Portland's fundamentals are pretty strong. Paparatto can't have looked that bad when Caleb Porter decided to bring him to his side. The Timbers are an aggressive side defensively and Sounders FC struggled against that style of play so far this season, though the service of Pineda does create a counter to that behavior.

But still, Oba Martins against a team that lacks speed on the backline....