Finn’s Five: Now The Real Work Begins, Part Two

Yesterday we looked at five questions the Timbers have to answer as the season begins, and today we’ll look at the five things that excite me about the 2013 Timbers.

1) The Valeri/Nagbe/Alhassan (or Valencia) trio.

We saw mouth watering glimpses of football this pre-season that I’ve never seen in 13 years watching the Timbers play. Moar please!

2) Will Johnson leading our midfield.

Jack Jewbsury is a hell of a nice guy but we should have traded him the minute he became an all-star in 2011. He was playing above his capabilities (and a simple look at his 7 year journeyman career in KC could confirm this) and the past year and half of back passes has been tough to watch. I’m excited to have a captain and midfield presence with some bite and on-field leadership.

3) El Trencito.

He’s going to be one of the breakout stars of MLS in 2013. The most exciting thing about him other than his footballing ability is he’s clearly bought into Porter’s system on both sides of the ball.

4) Watching our “Kids” grow.

It’s going to be fun (and painful at times) to watch our younger players blossom. Nagbe, DTG, Baptiste, Alhassan, Valencia are all going to get real minutes this year. For all the talk in the first two MLS seasons about committing to a youth project, the truth is that when the chips were down Spencer and GW went with lesser talented veterans. If the pre-season is any indication, Porter is going to actually walk the talk in this regard.

5) The Porter System.

Games will not be boring this year. We are going to lose some bizarre ones and our GAA is not going to be pretty but we are also going to have 3 and 4 and 5 goal wins. Hang on folks!

3 thoughts on “Finn’s Five: Now The Real Work Begins, Part Two

  1. I’m with you! Can’t wait for Sunday afternoon at JWF.

    I’d always rather have more talented, younger guys learning on the job than less talented veterans keeping them on the bench. I’d be fine with some early mistakes from youngsters if it means that the team is committed to getting better for the long haul.

    I’d also rather lose playing the type of game Porter is implementing than losing the way we did last season.

    Barring key injuries I’m more hopeful this year than ever before.

  2. 1. The trio is going to be fun to watch. As long as they buy into playing defense like Alhassan has this preseason we should be far better than last year.
    2. Will Johnson provides the grit and aggressive play that our entire team was missing last year.
    3. It’s nice to see someone on the pitch that not only wants to take a shot but seems to live for it. I just hope he can develope a left foot so he doesn’t become easy to defend.
    4. This is what is most promising about Caleb. I am seeing players develope new parts to their game and improve in the parts they already have. The first two years I really didn’t see players improving at all and in many cases I thought they were back tracking.
    5. We really need our back line to gel very quickly. With all the forward pressing they will need to react quickly and keep their form as a group. I think Steve Smith would have had a great year this year but we have improved overall on the outside. Silvestre has his work cut out for him, I hope he is up to the task. This year we might actually be able to win games where we give up two goals unlike last year.
    6. Can we get a penalty kick this year? The answer is yes.

  3. As for #5 I think that even though they’ll still give up a good chunk of goals it won’t be anything like 2012 (and 2011 to a lesser extent). I mean the first 2 years in MLS they’ve been bottom 5 (2011) and bottom 3 (2012) in GA and GD.

    I believe this year they’ll be much closer to a net positive in GD because they’ll score more so it will be a matter of if they can keep the GA number around 40-42 (which is what most on-the-cusp-of-playoffs non-high octane teams average).

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