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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Seth Hunt on Portland Soccer, February 21, 2013

The Timbers' second preseason home game ended in a 1-0 loss to Dallas last night at Jeld-Wen Field. Honestly it wasn't the best game to watch, but you have to think about who was playing. Portland played a team made up almost entirely of players who won't be starters when the season starts. Dallas, on the other hand, played a good amount of their first string. Aside from the goal, which came from the Timbers failing to clear a ball out of the penalty area, I thought the defense played all right last night. The midfield was pretty much a mess, and if the midfield isn't organized the forwards aren't going to get many chances.

The match did give Caleb Porter a chance to see which of his reserves might be able to contribute. I liked the play of Jose Valencia, the forward who was injured all of last season. He  got himself into good positions a few times last night. I look forward to seeing what he can do this season and hope he can get some playing time. Portland is definitely needs help at forward, especially with Bright Dike's season-ending knee injury, so Valencia will get his chance. To fill this need they also have brought in veteran striker Federic Piquionne of France, who has played in England, on trial. Portland also signed two players who impressed during the games in Arizona, defender Mikael Silvestre and midfielder Michael Nanchoff.

Portland has one more preseason game left, Saturday night against Sweden's AIK. Porter says he wants to play a lineup very similar to the one that will start in the season opener on March 3. I look forward to seeing that since I think it will be more like what we saw against San Jose last Sunday.


In other Portland soccer news, the Thorns, the women's professional club, just announced some good news as I was writing this. Danielle Foxhoven, who was an excellent Portland Pilot, has signed with the Thorns for the upcoming season. She was a very good forward for the Pilots who has the skill to run around and through defenders. I'm very excited to see a Pilot continue playing in Portland.

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