RSL to face familiar faces at tactically consistent Portland Timbers

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Timbers are an interesting side, as it would seem that regardless of the opposition, they're playing in essentially the same tactical approach, at least when we are looking at recent matches.

There is no doubting that Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders play quite different styles, and the recent matches between Portland and RSL and Portland and Seattle give us an opportunity to see how Portland responds. The answer is interesting, because if we're to look at chalkboards, it would seem they're playing essentially the same game.

As we face Timbers tomorrow, it would be interesting to take a look and see where things might differ and where things might remain essentially the same.

Passing against RSL (3-3): 324/425, 76 percent accuracy

Passing against Seattle (0-1): 310/413, 75 percent accuracy

Shooting against RSL: 5/16 on target — 6 blocked, with 11/16 in the box (68 percent)

Shooting against Seattle: 4/10 on target — 4 blocked, with 6/10 in the box (60 percent)

Interceptions against RSL: 9, all but one in the defensive half (one juuust over the midfield line, but let's call that the defensive half, too). Interceptions trended slightly toward the right side.

Interceptions against Seattle: 16, all but two in the defensive half. Interceptions again trending to the right side.

So while we can clearly see that the two matches are different, there are some elements in which they remain largely the same. This should give Jason Kreis an interesting platform to roll out a change or two tactically to attempt to counteract the Timbers style and approach. Perhaps it's as simple as switching the sides midfielders play on, or maintaining possession in the attacking half more regularly.

That the Timbers play essentially the same game week-in, week-out (at least without Will Johnson) — and again, I'll emphasize that these numbers don't necessarily show us that, but they give us some evidence that they do — speaks to their desire to be proactive in their approach, but it does remind me a bit of early Jason Kreis. He has since adapted his approach to be a bit more responsive while retaining that important proactive mindset, and it's surely benefited the club — this season has been a study in that.

Whatever the case, Friday will prove interesting.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join RSL Soapbox

You must be a member of RSL Soapbox to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at RSL Soapbox. You should read them.

Join RSL Soapbox

You must be a member of RSL Soapbox to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at RSL Soapbox. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.