Offseason Snapshot: Troy Perkins & Jake Gleeson
The soccer offseason is a change in pace but by no means uneventful. Players recharge, coaches examine and scout, and fans clamor for news and pine for the next match.
With the 2011 season firmly in the books, we reached out to a number of Timbers players to see what they’re planning, how they’re preparing, and what they’re looking forward to.
Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins (above right) is coming off a season where he had a career high nine shutouts as well as being a finalist for MLS Save of the Year. To say that he’s eager to take some time to explore is an understatement. Much like the pioneers from centuries before him, Perkins is looking forward to spending time with his family discovering the myriad natural areas and landscapes across Oregon.
“We moved here [last] January roughly and have never really had a chance to go out and see all the sights,” said the keen fan of the outdoors. “I know winter’s tough to get through the mountains and all that but we’ve talked about going down to see Crater Lake, going out to see the coast, and honestly we can’t do this stuff during the summer because we’re playing.”
There’s so much to do and see, I don’t even know where to begin.”
Fellow goalkeeper Jake Gleeson (above left) is coming off a streak of having not lost a match that he has started in over two years. Between his undefeated championship Timbers U-23s season in 2010 (14-0-0), to his first team starts in 2011 (2-0-1), to winning all his 2011 Reserve League matches (4-0-0), the young Kiwi has been busy and is eager to travel as well. In his case, it will mean returning to his Southern Hemisphere roots as he’ll journey home to New Zealand for the holidays. Given the flip of seasons heading south of the equator, Gleeson is looking forward to some warmer weather.
“It’s beautiful, I get to go home to a nice summer and travel around the country, go to the beach, go surfing so I’m really looking forward to that,” he said. “I get to spend Christmas out on the lake having a barbeque.”
Though the break is welcome, Gleeson is already preparing for a potential Olympic national team call-up with the All Whites U-23 team who are aiming for the London 2012 tournament.
“Hopefully we can qualify for the Olympics,” he said. “We’ve got a camp at the beginning of January so I’m looking forward to getting there and solidifying my starting spot.”
Crossing time zones and landscapes now, both keepers will definitely be ready for the 2012 season.