By Diego G Diaz/Providence Park, Portland, OR
Caleb Porter discussed the current state of Portland Timber affairs during his weekly Wednesday media address at Providence Park. The Timbers head coach talked about what he thinks it was one of the best defensive performances this season in front a good attacking team like Atlanta United, “they had 70% of possession and only 3 shots on goal” Porter said. The Portland coach also took time to reject Atlanta’s coach, Gerardo “Tata” Martino, post-match comments about Atlanta being the better team last Sunday, controlling the game, and having been more deserving of the victory, to what Porter counter with having had only 30% of the sport Portland had been a lot more effective in offense, with many more chances and much strong second half.
Caleb Porter was very happy with the Liam Ridgewell – Roy Miller center defensive duet, however fell short of singling that alignment as the main reason. He praised benched Lawrence Olum’s work, reminding that Olum has had great performances with both Roy and Liam earlier this season, they are all different, but very good players in the coach mind. As the club is still searching to add a center defender to the squad, Porter reminded everybody that “he will have to be good, because he will have to compete for a position with these guys”. Porter also praised the work of the defensive midfielders Diego Chara and David Guzman, and they work in coordination with the back four.
Asked about the poor possession stats, in Porter’s words “the most possession the Portland Timbers have allowed”, The team missed having Darlington Nagbe’s work on the pitch, “With Nagbe, the team wins 15% to 20% more possession” Porter affirmed. Darlington Nagbe missed the last game due to injury, he will be back for selection for the match against Montreal Impact, although not for long, as presumably, the midfielder may be missing the early June string of home games due to his duty with the USA National Team ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers.
Ahead of the away match in Montreal against the Impact, Porter rested importance to the Québécois side current standings on the East Conference, for Caleb, they are a very good team who has been at the wrong end of the results but are still a very good team. In MLS, and specially this early in the season, this can’t rapidly change. The Portland head coach, hopes to be able to keep the good defensive work and add a good offensive performance to be able to take the 3 points in their first Canadian trip for the 2017 season.
For the full press conference click on the link below.
Caleb Porter full press conference May 17th, 2017