An unexpected benefit of our bad luck in defense is that Jean-Baptiste has probably gotten more games than he would’ve done if things had gone according to plan. He’s still raw, but I think the point you make about his ability to come back stronger from setbacks is key. He’s got a good coach working on him, and he gets to work with/talk to the likes of Kah and Silvestre, who can mentor him and give him the benefit of years of soccer at high levels, but all that would be for nothing if he crumbled or hid after making a mistake because without that character, you’ll never be a player that can relied on when the pressure is on and a trophy are [sic] on the line.
– My words in mid July, shortly before AJB’s loss of form (as part of the defensive collective)
Seems judgement has been made. We shall see.
The Timbers took advantage of an extended mid-season break to engineer a trade with fellow strugglers Philadelphia Union which saw Jorge Perlaza leave Portland, and a homecoming of sorts for Danny Mwanga, who made a similar trip to his old strike partner Sebastien Le Toux, who left in preseason, to the Pacific Northwest.
It’s an interesting move by the Timbers front office. In retrospect it’s not hard to see that Perlaza was the obvious trade bait on the squad. He’s a guy who’s underappreciated by a large section of fans – so unlikely to cause uproar by being sent away – but clearly has enough about him for those within the game to value him highly. He’s experienced, tough, cheap, hard working and will fit right in at Philly, where he has a number of fellow countryman around him. Continue reading The New Mwanga
I mentioned in my match report for the Vancouver matc that there was more I’d have liked to write about Jorge Perlaza’s role in the match, but was limited by what I could illustrate thanks to Major League Soccer Soccer Dot Com’s pitiful match “highlights” package. Well, fortunately (or not…) I now have access to MLS Live, so let’s do this thing.
There’s no doubt that Perlaza is a player that will divide fans. I’m of the opinion that he’s a valuable asset to the team, and a great foil to Kris Boyd. Others will point to a poor shots-on-goal rate, or his erratic finishing and ask, what’s the point in a striker that doesn’t score goals? Continue reading The Intangible Man
Portland Timbers pulled off a signing coup by announcing the signing of Kris Boyd, a free agent after a transfer to Turkey went sour over unpaid wages. The striker had made his name at Kilmarnock and Rangers in the SPL, where he is the leagues all-time top scorer. A move to Middlesbrough didn’t work out for a variety of reasons – Gordon Strachan had raided the SPL for a host of players, and they failed to gel. Boyd’s form suffered, a new manager came in (Tony Mowbray) who didn’t rate Boyd and he soon found himself farmed out to Nottingham Forest. Continue reading Kris Boyd, Portland Timber