One of the themes that tend to run throughout the major US sports is that after a team does well for a year or two, there’s a good chance they won’t do well the next. There’s no real singular rhyme or reason to this, and instead, it tends to be an accumulation of different things.
Franchises can change in the blink of an eye with even the smallest of alterations, and that’s what some fans and media members don’t seem to understand. It takes so long to put together all of the pieces necessary to find success in the sporting world, that one moment of madness or one decision can completely change your trajectory.
The rise and fall
Case in point: let’s take a look at the Portland Timbers. Last year they went on a great run all the way through to the MLS Cup, when they came unstuck against Atlanta United. They put up a valiant effort and should be proud of what they accomplished, but in the end, it just wasn’t enough to stop the ATL.
Whenever you get so close to achieving your end goal it can be pretty devastating when it doesn’t happen, but there are always lessons that you can take away from the experience. The Timbers have been in positions like this before so you’d think they would be used to bouncing back by now – but as we all know, things haven’t quite gone to plan so far in the 2019 campaign.
Defensively speaking they’ve been pretty atrocious in the early stages of the season, and as Pro Soccer USA has noted, it seems to have come out of left field. Questions are being asked in every which direction and there don’t appear to be a lot of answers, even though Portland currently finds themselves at the bottom of their conference.
It’s almost as if they used up all of their energy in the dramatic 3-3 opener against Colorado Rapids, because it’s been all downhill from there. In the MLS since then they’ve suffered five straight defeats to LAFC, Cincinnati, LA Galaxy, San Jose and Dallas. In that space of time they’ve conceded 14 goals, and in response, they’ve only scored three.
A way back?
It just seems like everything is going against them, and in times of need such as this, it’s always interesting to see how the club responds. As reported by Oregon Live it seems like they’re having some difficulties in that department, as they appear to be putting plans in place to prevent fans from queuing up for games for too long.
Logistically speaking we can understand the logic there, but you’ve got to think about the timing of it. This is the time for everyone to pull together as one and play for the badge on their shirt. Portland have some seriously loyal fans which is one of the major positives to take away from this, but even so, there’s probably only so much they can take.
They’ve got a few winnable fixtures coming up in the next few weeks, and given how things have gone so far, they’ll be desperate for three points.