Thursday, June 1, 2017

Week 14 Prediction Thread - Timbers v San Jose Part 2

Home cooking might cure what ails the Timbers right now
Let me start this post off by saying this much - Mark Geiger didn't cost the Timbers the match last week in the Fishing Village. Yes, there were several difficult decisions that went against the visitors, including two handballs, a backpass into the box that should have led to an indirect free kick, and several missed fouls that Timbers fans - and the players - feel were judged incorrectly by Geiger and his crew. While that is absolutely correct in my opinion, it doesn't change the fact that the Timbers offense had another off performance - midfield ineffectiveness combined with a lack of linkage among the offensive weapons up top - and the defense made enough of a mistake early to allow the home side to score early. The single tally was enough to hold on for the win, and as the Rose City Soccer Show crew discussed this week in our weekly roundtable, there was plenty to talk about for this result.

Portland's offense - stellar to start the season - has been erratic since that point for a lot of reasons. Whether it's the island approach where teams isolate Diego Valeri and Fanendo Adi, or foul Diego Chara and Valeri repeatedly, or bracket Adi everywhere he goes, or an early goal forces the midfield wings to play further back to support the defense instead of pouring forward, it's a troublesome trend that has been in affect for the past several matches - since beating Philadelphia on April 8 on the road, it's been a loss to Sporting at home, a win over Vancouver, a draw in Dallas, a frustrating loss to the Earthquakes in San Jose, a draw versus Atlanta at home, a humiliating loss in Montreal and the loss to the Flounders. Seven matches with just 5 points and 6 goals scored while conceding 13 goals isn't earth shattering numbers, and with this recent stretch, the Timbers have seen some of the early season luster fall off as they now sit in 5th place in the West with 18 points. The points per match is still 1.37 per match, and the team still has 5 wins with improved efforts on the road, so there is optimism, but the team still needs to right the ship a bit. The Earthquakes make their visit to Portland for a rare Friday night match, so what do our crack crew of predictors think might happen? Let's find out.

I'm back!

Rick - Timbers 2, San Jose 1

Chara returns from suspension but we lose Nagbe to the USMNT. We have a solid (W5 D3 L0 F13 A6) record against the Earthquakes in MLS play. Chris Wondolowski leads San Jose's attack with 6 goals, the same as Portland's Diego Valeri and Fanendo Adi. I expect all three to add to their tally on Friday night.

I'm still a handsome cat despite predicting a loss, right?

GB - San Jose 3, Timbers 1

The grey boy was adamant about San Jose winning, getting very animated that it was going to be the bad guys that win. With 3 decisive tail thumps for the visitors and just 1 paw thump for the home team, GB is predicting that the current losing streak continues for another week.

This is my scarf now because it has a star on it.

Spot - scoreless draw

The soccer princess nearly broke out of her rut in terms of scoreless draw as she was asked about Portland and San Jose. There was several minutes of moving about, tail flailing, and lots of lots of noise. However, when she was asked to actually pick a side and score, she clammed up completely to avoid choosing anything. Typical cat behavior apparently, but Spot again decided nobody needs to score.

I wear this to work since I can't while at the park.

Kip - Timbers 3, San Jose 1

This one is tough to call because the Timbers have been in such disarray lately, especially on the offensive side. Without Darlington Nagbe unavailable for international duty, Portland will need to rely upon Diego Valeri and Sebastian Blanco to generate chances. With the home cooking and a healthy dose of Fanendo Adi, I am calling for the Timbers to break the streak and get a much needed win over the Earthquakes.

I like goals as much as crunch cat food. And I love cat food!

Tortie - Timbers 4, San Jose 2

The diminutive tortoise shell cat was still excited about goals, but didn't have the enthusiasm for a huge track meet this week like she has in past weeks. While she only eeped 4 times for Portland, it was more than the 2 for the visitors, so while there are goals, it should be more in line with a high scoring soccer match. It would be awesome if she was right.


  1. Other predictions so far that have been shared - Chris O & Steve predict 2 to 0 win for the Timbers with Adi going nuts. Please feel free to add your thoughts and predictions noted below. - The Editors.

  2. So apparently Chris & Steve are the smartest ones in the room, but will give credit to Tortie, Rick and Kip for at least predicting a Timbers win.