|Harry Shipp’s next step?|
Let the record show that I did watch the U.S. post that goal-less draw against the Serbian First Division All-Stars (or, just Serbia). The only thing I have to add beyond what’s already out there (yay, Darlington Nagbe! yah, Sebastian Lletget!) is the thought that the U.S. looked actually comfortable on the field for the first time in a while. If nothing else, sending players onto the field with some form of tactical direction marks the only departure from the Jurgen Klinsmann Era, I’ll call that enough of a win.
Let the record also show that I’m probably gonna miss U.S. v. Jamaica. Then again, who knows? Maybe work’ll be dead on Friday.
How a Situation Becomes a Crisis
With the whole Sebastian Blanco thing waiting for someone to tie on the bow, and with a linkable report to the Portland Timbers’ loss to Istra 1961 not yetup, the biggest news out of Timbers Land probably came with yesterday’s report that Gbenga Arokoyo, the possible/planned preferred partner (sorry, got on a roll) for Liam Ridgewell, has been downgraded to broken. The guy blew out his Achilles tendon, apparently, and, sad to say, his only contribution as a Timber that I will ever recall was providing what might have been an assist on Rennico Clarke’s own-goal in the preseason opener. Tough, tough break for Arokoyo, obviously, and you feel for the guy…all while pretty much thinking that he’s not a player to bank on for the future.
If, like me, you wanted to see the Timbers sign a central defender even before Arokoyo went down, this looks closer to a mountain than a molehill (a foothill?). Portland’s thin for personnel back there, and possibly (debatably) thinner in quality, so, in a word…goddammit. If Portland goes into the regular season with the current corps of defenders, I’ll start 2017 by protecting myself (e.g. tempering expectations).