Skip to content

Portland reacts to New England’s “parking the bus” – but does it the right way

May 3, 2013, 11:32 AM EST

Kalifa Cisse, Rodney Wallae

No one around Portland is torn up by last night’s scoreless draw with New England. The Timbers certainly aren’t thrilled with split points at Jeld-Wen Field – but they created a bunch of chances, and that’s something.

More to the point, though, was the way Portland addressed New England’s defensively dug-in tactics. Rather than moaning and groaning about it, as we see the attack-minded occasionally do when visitors “park the bus,” they acknowledged not doing enough finishing to beat it.

That is the right attitude. No, I don’t want to see every MLS club playing this way on the road, all spit and grit and resolute defense, with a lone striker to hope for something on offense. And I do enjoy it when teams travel with intent to attack, the very way Portland did in last weekend’s victory at Kansas City.

But the reality is that teams will sometimes need to sit in and absorb. New England, short on defenders Thursday and woefully short on playoff appearances lately, can hardly be blamed for a bit of bus parking.

Problem solving is part of soccer, after all. The favorites need to score, which forces the defense-minded from the shell.

Here’s what veteran midfielder Will Johnson said about it, while noting what we told you in the previous post relating to last night’s scoreless draw, that New England is good on team defense.

No one has really taken into account that they’re a pretty good road team. They come in and park the bus. They sit everybody back and try to hit you with some of their more athletic guys on the counter. It’s pretty effective. It’s not the first place that it has worked and it’s not the last. It doesn’t have as much to do with us as what they did. The way you get them out of their shape is to punish them and we let them off the hook and it makes it easy for them.” 

Latest Posts
  1. Tim Howard runs away with U.S. Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year award

    Nov 20, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

    tim_howard Getty Images

    Tim Howard unsurprisingly takes U.S. Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year award.

  2. Wigan Athletic shirt sponsor cuts ties with club, calls Mackay’s remarks “untenable”

    Nov 20, 2014, 5:10 PM EST

    Aston Villa v Cardiff City - Premier League Getty Images

    Wigan Athletic shirt sponsors have ended their contract with the club due to Malkay Mackay’s illicit text messages.

  3. Pepe: “It would be a scandal” if Ronaldo didn’t win Ballon d’Or

    Nov 20, 2014, 4:30 PM EST

    FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-BARCELONA FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-BARCELONA

    “It would be a scandal and a shame if they did not give [Ronaldo] the Ballon d’Or,” says Pepe.

  4. Buffon, Chiellini pledge future to Juventus with contract extensions

    Nov 20, 2014, 3:55 PM EST

    112014-Chiellini-PI.vadapt.320.medium.0 Getty Images

    Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini are set to stay at Juventus with fresh deals.

  5. Wigan owner Dave Whelan accused of anti-Semitic remarks

    Nov 20, 2014, 3:39 PM EST

    Wigan Athletic v Arsenal - FA Cup Semi-Final Wigan Athletic v Arsenal - FA Cup Semi-Final

    Whelan: “I think Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else. I don’t think that’s offensive at all.”

  6. What to expect as USA, Premier League star Geoff Cameron joins ProSoccerTalk

    Nov 20, 2014, 3:02 PM EST

    Cameron AP

    Details on Geoff Cameron’s exciting new role with ProSoccerTalk.

  7. FIFA saga takes new twist: World Cup corruption report to be reviewed

    Nov 20, 2014, 2:31 PM EST

    64th FIFA Congress 64th FIFA Congress

    Review of FIFA’s corruption report ordered, as Qatar, Russia scrutinized once again.

  8. VOTE – Best choice for MLS expansion: Las Vegas, Sacramento or Minneapolis?

    Nov 20, 2014, 1:32 PM EST

    Vikings Stadium Football AP

    You get your say. After MLS held talks with cities in California, Nevada and Minnesota, is this the right move for the league?

  9. Mix-up: Manchester United say Daley Blind out for six months, then deny it

    Nov 20, 2014, 12:02 PM EST

    Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

    Blind was ruled out for six months by United’s Twitter account… but there’s been a twist.

  10. Finalists for 2014 MLS awards announced: No MVP for BWP, and much more

    Nov 20, 2014, 10:54 AM EST

    Seattle Sounders v Los Angeles Galaxy - Western Conference Championship - Leg 1 Getty Images

    Here are the finalists for MLS 2014 awards. Agree? Disagree?

  11. Olivier Giroud makes shock return for Arsenal, fit for Manchester United clash

    Nov 20, 2014, 8:39 AM EST

    Olivier Giroud AP

    Giroud back a month ahead of schedule to hand Gunners massive boost.

  12. Report: Arsenal have deal in place to sign Chelsea’s Petr Cech

    Nov 20, 2014, 8:05 AM EST

    Chelsea v Paris Saint-Germain FC - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Getty Images

    Cech set for a move to the Emirates in January according to reports.

  13. MLS Expansion Draft rules released; existing teams can protect 11 players

    Nov 19, 2014, 8:59 PM EST

    MLSLogoEdit1

    Ready yourself for the MLS Expansion Draft, slated for December 10th.

Featured video

Preview: Arsenal vs. Manchester United