Timbers reboot: Looking at the 2013 season
As this site enters it’s 13th season, it returns from it’s customary off-season hiatus with a new-look Timbers, under new coach Caleb Porter, looking to recover from a disappointing 2012 season that started with high expectations, and high hopes after opening the season with a 3-1 win over Philadelphia. But big-name, big-money signing Kris Boyd never worked out under the coaching of John Spencer, with the Timbers first MLS coach being dismissed mid-season. So the roster has shaken up, and the first major reboot of the MLS Timbers has begun.
Defenders Lovel Palmer, Steve Purdy, Steven Smith, Eric Brunner, and Kosuke Kimura have all been officially released or traded, while Kris Boyd and Franco Songo’o are also unlikely to return. Songo’o is the biggest surprise among this group, with his back-loaded two year contract being the likely reason he is being shopped around at the moment, though there is always a slim chance he could return.
Ryan Johnson (from Toronto FC)
Johnson comes over to the Timbers after scoring 7 goals in 31 games in Toronto last year, and had a good debut in the Timbers’ 3-1 preseason-opening win over Colorado in Arizona earlier this week. A healthy Jose Valencia should also strengthen the Timbers in an area they have lacked since their MLS debut.
Will Johnson (from Real Salt Lake)
Diego Valeri (from Argentina’s Club Atlético Lanús)
Chris Hegngi (from Ohio State)
Johnson joins the Timbers after five years at Salt Lake, and his experience should have him competing for a starting role even among the Timbers strongest group of players, the midfield. Valeri comes to the Timbers on loan from Argenina, and impressed many in his exhibition debut, including curling a free kick goal around Colorado keeper Matt Pickens. Hegngi has yet to join the Timbers in camp and may have trouble finding a place in a talented Timbers midfield.
Michael Harrington (from Kansas City in trade for allocation money)
Dylan Tucker-Gangnes (from Unicerstiy of Washington)
Ryan Miller (From Sweden’s Halmstads BK)
Mobi Fehr (MLS lottery)
Losing five defenders after 2012, the Timbers will clearly rebuilding here. Harrington has been a regular starter in Kansas City for six years, though only started 9 games in 2012. Tucker-Gangnes was All-Pac-12 in 2012. Miller returns to MLS after four years in Sweden, and Fehr can play midfield or defender, coming to Portland in the MLS weighted lottery.
Milos Kocic (from Toronto FC)
David Meves (draft pick from Akron)
The Timbers clearly look to shake up the goalkeeper position, with a totally new group of keepers since near the end of last season when Donovan Ricketts joined the team. Kocic is an MLS veteran who should compete with Ricketts for the starting job, and Meves joins former coach Porter and will likely battle with Jake Gleeson for his position as the possible future of the Timbers netminding.