this morning, my mood for writing was diminished significantly by the fact i had 1000 words that were tacked onto the lovely wordpress page find themselves dumped into the world of slackspace. my efforts at punching control z, comparing hash values and sha values, what have you, were ineffective in retrieving this beautiful masterpiece that discussed the timbers in pre-season tourney mode. now, i am working on refilling the white space with black letters and black words that will never rise to the original treatise i was so looking forward to unleashing on the readers of this blog. instead, i get to look forward to vacuuming up the paint chips that fell from the ceiling during my invective filled tirade after learning all was lost.
so, my apologies for the brief post but, to quote patton, i hate paying for the same real estate twice.
moving on from the disaster that was my late night, which is much like the timbers moving on from last season, today is the first day the timbers begin their defense of that ever so desirable pre-season championship. the timbers are a two-time holder of that honor and look to continue their undefeated streak through this next month. currently, the team is in tuscon, arizona, which is much like phoenix/tempe, arizona: a gigantic strip mall in the middle of a god forsaken desert.
the timbers start off the defense of their title with an enticing match-up against the colorado rapids. while i am looking forward to watching the defense begin, i am more intrigued by the first in-action display of the new system--porter's system. today, we are going to get the first glimpse and impression of just how possession based football will match up against typical mls tactics. sure, the timbers did attempt to employ the tactics towards the end of the 2012 season but to little effect. much of the failures of the experiment can be attributed to the either the type of players on the side at the time, or to gavin's inability to understand exactly how the tactics work within a game-type setting.
today is when we are treated to first glimpses of how the tactics will and should be employed, which means we see how the players will respond to the tactics. we are likely to not see a preferred formation, because porter is using this time to evaluate where and how to best use certain players.
in the past week, porter has stated that the formation may change given the different personnel and the different opponents, but overall the structure should be familiar throughout. that means we will begin to see the ways porter considers the best uses of captain forever, diego chara, darlington nagbe, will johnson, and the other cast of characters.
given the limited skill set he has been blessed with, many of us still wonder how jack will fit within the system. but one thing has been made clear in the last week of pre-season workouts--jack has returned energized and ready to fight for his position. whether that means he retains the armband come march 3 i have no idea--i hope not--but i do appreciate the fact jack has not arrived with the expectation the armband is his. i like the fact he is ready to defend that position and his position within the side, generally. one thing this timbers team does not need is a set of players who take their places for granted, assume they will start regardless of their pre-season efforts. after last season, if you were a player lucky enough to remain with the club, i would expect every day to be a fight to retain that gift. as does porter. he stated last week that he only kept players who would fight for their positions and their pride:
I think the overall attitude, buy-in, and fitness, and work-rate is maybe higher than I thought it would be at this point. I think that shows that these guys are hungry, that they are good pros, shows that they want to win, shows that they're the guys...that are back here and are dissatisfied with the past and want to make amends for it.
amen to that, brother. the players who have returned and the new players that have come in should look to amending the opinion the supporters and the mls world in general have developed through watching the team these last years. and last year in particular.
finally, all the conjecture and rumours have been confirmed--songo'o is indeed playing for a spot in houston. the timbers have given the dynamo permission to take a look. hopefully that look is a good look and good enough to prompt the dynamo to make an offer to the timbers in the next few days. i would hate to see songo'o be cut outright as he has some significant trade value--if any player left from the 2012 timbers had trade value.
so, that is that. 2 more days in the month of transfer january. the season is getting close.