It's that time of the week as 2 brotherly blogs meet up on the interwebs and talk MLS. This week, we talk to our friends from the Pacific Northwest, StumpTown Footy . Follow them, read them and get to know our western friends as they embark on their second year in MLS. I had the chance to exchange questions with Geoff Gibson, managing editor of Stumptown Footy as he answers questions about a team that had high expectations even after only 2 years in the MLS.
Read Mount Royal Soccer's answers to Stumptown Footy's answers here.
1. With so much talk around the Portland Timbers and such high expectations, many seem to forget that the Timbers are only a 2nd-year MLS team. Why do you think so much hype (not in a bad way) and high expectations has surrounded the team and still is?
Ultimately, it boils down to the simple fact the Timbers FO is one that wants trophies. While you can argue that that desire exists amongst every MLS team, there are certain levels of dedication and expectations from some teams (Seattle Sounders, LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, etc.) than some other teams with less active owners/ownership groups (New England Revolution, Colorado Rapids). Those expectations stem from a dedicated ownership group.
2. With a such a strong offensive potential with Kris Boyd, Darlington Nagbe and Jorge Perlaza: 2 part questions
a . Is Kris Boyd so good that he fitted with the team so easily or is the way the team is structured making it easier him to integrate himself?
b. With an offensive upside, what is the weakness of the Portland Timbers that needs to be addressed and should have been addressed already?
Probably equal parts of each actually. Last season the Timbers largely went without a target man up front instead opting for Kenny Cooper who preferred to lead off to the sides and Jorge Perlaza who is a pure speedster up top and no physicality. Kris Boyd provides that big target man up top which has allowed the team to shift a bit to favor that style of play.
Right now it's a little hard to say. The Timbers have had a couple moves in the last couple weeks bringing on forward Mike Fucito and defender Steven Smith who is a left back I believe. How the two fit in is a bit of a mystery to us all. Currently, however, I would say that back wing positions continue to be the weakest on the field. Smith will hopefully alleviate that a bit, but again I can't say for certain right now.
3. Portland is known for its famous supporting fans especially the Timbers Army. What is their role outside supporting vis a vis the club? and how are they seen by the club and what kind of relationship is there between club and supporter group?
They have a large community role, especially in regards to fund raising and the likes. They do some great things. Aside from that, I can't comment on too much. I stay out of their politics and the general organizational structure of the Timbers Army for the obvious reason that I'm press, which I believe they prefer anyways.
But they're a great group for the community and have, very obviously, helped fuel much of the Timbers success in the last few years. I don't know the exact relationship between the Timbers FO and the Timbers Army, but I would have a hard time believing it is anything less than great.