First “game” of the year, I suppose, and while I won’t get to watch it–the rumor is that Sounder[at]Heart will have a game thread up and MLSsoccer may have a game camera up making play viewable. With a small possibly some stellar commentary could be provided from someone such as Matt Doyle. There shouldn’t be any shortage of commentary.
Again, with work and being a grown-up that doesn’t get to live to write about sports and Sounder things, I won’t be around to post line-ups, though from hearing both Caleb Porter and Sigi Schmid, I don’t expect them to put out much of their “a-team”.
Listening to Caleb Porter’s interview on Oregon Live, it seems the game will follow a 40-40-30 format, in which the Portland Timbers coach hopes to get players on for a total of 60 minutes and then sub in another few for 50.
I’m sure that a lot will be made of this game but it’s not worth getting worked up about. I actually kind of hope that the Timbers win this game by a lot. I think it’ll kind of be a false positive for where they are headed. I’m sure their a better team than they were last year. I like their addition of Will Johnson and I’m already quite fearful of what Diego Valeri can do on a set piece. Ryan Johnson (no relation to Will), acquired from Toronto just a few weeks ago, should also continue to make-up a dangerous goal scoring tandem with Bright Dike who showed plenty of promise after returning from his stint with USL-Pro.
Here is a sneaky little treat. Caleb Porter has mentioned that both Midfielder/Defender Mobi Fehr and defender Dylan Tucker-Gangnes should get time out there today. In other words, “hey Seattle fans, remember when we wanted these guys and Portland got them instead. Yep, Screw you!” I appreciate Caleb Porter for this. He already has an idea of the intensity of this rivalry. And while he down plays the upcoming match against Seattle, he does little things like this to kind of nudge supporters. Kind as if to say “We’re not as stupid as we used to be.”
I’m sure the Sounders will take this opportunity to look at few of their trialist. I would expect to see guys that Sigi has mentioned such as Forward Jennings Rex, Midfielder Philip Lund, as well as the slew of defenders Anshani Fairclough, Mason Trafford, Shavar Thomas and Djimi Traore.
Schmid has already mentioned that Andrew Duran won’t be available and he kind of down played the possibilities of Zakuani and Babayele Sodade‘s involvement. Though I truely want to believe that Sodade’s going to get a few minutes. He’s impressed based upon some of the information I’ve heard from camp and I’d like to see him going toe to toe with DT-G.
I’m not expecting much and I hope no one does either. With that though I hope you don’t take too much from this game because that too would be a mistake. I don’t care if one team wins 12-0 or it ends in a 0-0 draw. What you can take is that player A) is in good shape headed into the season or has his touch down. Nothing more. Many of these guys aren’t even running 80% just yet so to consider this to be anything worth evaluating is rather silly at this point.
That said it does always feel kind of good to stick it to Oregon, doesn’t it?