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15 Reasons why it’s not time to hit the Timbers panic button.

28 Jun

Following the worst Timbers performance of the year against FC Dallas, and the run of 5 games without victory rumblings have emerged all around Portland. I am a positive guy. So here is 15 reasons why we don’t have to hit the panic button just yet:

1. We haven’t been playing that badly. With the exception of the performance against FC Dallas the other four failures to win were not terrible performances. Indeed, the previous two games against Colorado and New York were two of our better performances. In both these matches we had played well enough to win the games and were unfortunate not to. But for a minute of injury time here or there we’d of collected 4 points and nobody would be thinking of panicking.

2. FC Dallas are a good team and are in form. Last years MLS finalists. 1 loss in the previous 11 games, and 24 points recorded in that time period. It was always going to be tough game for the Timbers. Granted 4-0 is disappointing and the performance is unacceptable. But we must recognize that it is not a catastrophe.

3. The playoffs are not out of sight. In the FC Dallas broadcast John Strong alluded to 40 being the magic playoff number. Indeed, a simple amount of research will conclude that 40 points would of got you to the playoffs every year since the 2006 season. However, we must remember there are two additional teams in the league this year. It would perhaps be safer to shoot for a 44 point total. We currently sit on 18 points and are 2 games away from the halfway point. 4 points picked up against SKC and Seattle would put us on target for the playoffs.

4. The squad could gel. I know there is a dislike amongst those of us who have been around since the USL period to not call ourselves an “expansion side”. It’s absolutely right. However, one thing we have in common with a true expansion side- an almost entirely new squad and new starting lineup. Teams take time to become a team. Anyone who has followed one of the big European leagues has seen an established international football star struggle to fit into a new successful club team (Shevchenko at Chelsea for example). It should be no surprise that a squad of players mostly playing together for the first time our going to take their time to settle. In theory the team should gel together more and more as the season progresses.

5. We are young. Young players usually improve. Our future is bright.

6. You’d be amazed what a difference a win makes. The players will be starting to feel the pressure of getting that win following the winless streak. Once it’s in the bag. The pressure is lifted. Performances will improve. We will win sooner or later (though lets all pray it’s sooner!).

7. You’d be amazed what a difference a goal makes. Kenny Cooper and Perlaza haven’t scored in a while. It is showing in front of goal. They look a little nervy and very hungry to score (particularly Kenny). Once they come it’s entirely possible that either of them could up their scoring consistency. I expect more goals from this partnership.

Well I hope I’ve bought a little encouragement where it is much needed. I may be right, I may be wrong… but I am still hoping and believing for better things from this Timbers side. And no matter what remember… RCTID.

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28 Jun

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