Friday, December 16, 2016

The Late (Late) Tackle 12 16 2016: Portland Timbers Trade Crap, FC Dallas Keeping Busy, and January Camp

I’ll be waiting, my lov…OH MY GOD, WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY FOOT!?
I’m half following a couple Portland Timbers-related things on twitter, something about Jeff Attinella (which sounds like it’s got a little traction), plus something about centerbacks at or around 30 years of age.

I like Attinella. Have seen him stand on his head in a couple games. Competition is good, so it’s good to see someone come in to push Jake Gleeson, especially when you feel good about both competitors. And they are vying for your love…

…I’m in the lounge, gentlemen, on the fainting couch. Don’t make me wait too long…

Starting elsewhere in Timbers world, however (wait, no, you just started with…never mind).

A Future Without Taylors
Because I don’t think there’s a dissenting opinion on this, I’ll just note Steven Taylor’s departure from the Portland Timbers. Here’s to wishing him the best, and a future in a league where attacking players are slower in body and thought…

…to hit this from another angle, though (and, please, tell me I haven’t already), as much as this Taylor particularly worried me, I am a little anxious about the magnitude of the turnover in the Timbers’ defense, and the roster as a whole, at time of writing. I know there’s always an argument for just ripping off the damn band aid, and lord knows the Timbers need to get younger (and faster) back there. Still…The Kick Off ran a piece from a site that covers the Philadelphia Union. The article talks about how the Union needs to manage a transition in their defensive set-up (for they did struggle), and while the particular dynamics aren’t anything like identical to Portland’s, I like the guy’s thought process.

Dallas Stomps on the Accelerator
I saw a tweet the other day stating that FC Dallas had found their replacement for Fabian Castillo. I’m assuming it’s this Belgian guy, Roland Lamah. They added another goodie on the way, in the person of Costa Rican “outside back” Jose Salvatierra. I’ll admit right up front that I’ve never seen either player do anything (and, again, I’m opposed to Youtube scouting), but I can note the following: on the one hand, the road Lamah traveled to MLS was long, winding (good leagues, big leagues, slightly weird leagues) and ended in Hungary; I don’t know much about the Hungarian League, but I’ve seen resumes like that before; on the other, a few caps for a team as reliable decent as Belgium probably speaks well of him; as Salvatierra, Costa Ricans seem to do all right in MLS. So, yeah, Dallas is doing what I’d like to see Portland doing. Like, tomorrow. Throw us a bone, guys…

Il Bruce Teases January Camp
The official call-ups will have to wait until…I don’t know when, but Bruce Arena made it clear that he’s more comfortable calling up MLS players than Dear Jurgen. It’s…man, what is it? Good? Heartening? Nice? I guess what I’m getting at is, I have fonder attachment to MLS players than I do for the Yanks and “Yanks” Abroad (scare quote intended to note less immediate ties to Russia West, aka the United States in the Trump Era). Not that I hate those guys or anything, it’s just when MLS guys get called up, there’s a little more emotional investment in it for me.

For what it’s worth, I think this opens up an even sharper divide/experiment between the coach/player pool argument that raged throughout the Klinsmann years. I will be watching the January camp closely (or, if I’m being honest, just the friendly) for the first time in five years.

Right. All done. Have a good weekend, all y’all!

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