KeyBank Match-up of the Match: Jake Gleeson vs. Opening 20 Minutes

Match-up: Gleeson vs. Opening 20 minutes

jake gleeson match up of the match

Photo Credit: 
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

They say first impressions are always the most important and that you always want to start out on the right foot.

For the Portland Timbers in their first two regular season MLS games this season, that first step has been a bit of a stumble.

Against the Colorado Rapids, it was Jeff Larentowicz’s 8th minute strike that put a fizzle on the Timbers debut party and in Toronto, the Reds’ Javier Martina struck in the 14th minute.

 
These early goals and the Timbers challenge of preventing them brings us to Timbers soccer analyst Robbie Earle’s KeyBank Match-Up of the Match.
 
Robbie Earle’s
KeyBank Match-up of the Match
Jake Gleeson vs. Opening 20 Minutes 
 

Though the New England Revolution had a terrible time last season with slow starts at the beginning of matches, they have come flying out of the gate this season. Over the course a draw with the LA Galaxy and a victory over D.C. United, the Revs have a total of three goals in the first twenty minutes. 

That early production could prove problematic if you take into account that the Timbers have been behind for all but 22 minutes of their inaugural MLS 2011 regular season. 

The Timbers recent play, however, hints at a change of direction. Freshly minted MLS Week 2 Save of the Week winner Jake Gleeson came up with some big saves against Chivas USA on Tuesday night in U.S. Open Cup play and that solid net play held for a 2-0 shutout. Helping Gleeson against the Goats was a Timbers attack that was relentless in the first half, which produced was a definite rhythm to the game that favored Portland's aims. 

Should the 20 year-old Gleeson be able to hold down the fort at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night to keep a clean sheet through the opening 20 minutes and the overall squad can capitalize on that stability, then we might just see the Timbers pluck their first MLS win.