Portland Draft Preview: Are pick-less Timbers missing out?
MLSsoccer.com begins its team-by-team lookahead at the 2013 SuperDraft and the players that will most likely be on each club’s radar.
The Portland Timbers seem destined to jettison Designated Player Kris Boyd, the star signing of last offseason, and the state of their backline remains in flux. They’ve already been busy this offseason, adding pieces up and down the field, but in the process they have left themselves as the only team without a pick in the SuperDraft.
That may not be much of a hindrance, though. New head coach Caleb Porter comes to the Timbers after seven years at Akron, and probably feels he can find SuperDraft talent in the Supplemental Draft on Jan. 22. If he can, things will bode well for a quick turnaround in the Rose City.
Portland Timbers SuperDraft Picks: None
Portland Timbers Depth Chart (29-man roster):
Goalkeepers (3): Donovan Ricketts, Milos Kocic, Jake Gleeson
Right Backs (1): Ryan Kawulok
Central Defenders (4): Hanyer Mosquera, Mamadou “Futty” Danso, David Horst, Andrew Jean-Baptiste
Left Backs (3): Michael Harrington, Chris Taylor, Rodney Wallace
Holding Midfielders (4): Will Johnson, Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury, Mobi Fehr
Attacking Midfielders (2): Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe, Eric Alexander
Wingers (6): Ryan Johnson, Franck Songo’o, Sal Zizzo, Kalif Alhassan, Steven Evans, Brent Richards
Forwards (6): Bright Dike, Danny Mwanga, Mike Fucito, Jose Adolfo Valencia, Sebastian Rincon, Kris Boyd
International Slots (6 of 9 used): Alhassan, Boyd, Kocic, Mosquera, Songo'o, Valencia
Portland Timbers SuperDraft Priorities:
1. Don’t Panic – Portland have undergone a pretty good overhaul in a pretty short timeframe, and there’ll be an itch to do more once everyone’s on the clock next Thursday. But they can afford to sit tight for now, letting their trade chips breathe and then seeing who comes calling in the aftermath.
2. Don’t Dawdle, Either – It’s nonetheless pretty clear from the above that Portland need some help at right back. Unless Porter plans to convert one of the wingers (not out of the question), they’re hopelessly threadbare at that position. Making matters worse, there isn’t a single true right back expected to be picked in either of the first two rounds.
3. Attacking Midfield Depth – Porter swore he’s not married to the 4-3-3, but it’s the formation that probably makes the best use of Nagbe, which means it’s the formation Porter will probably end up playing. Nagbe needs a real backup, however, and if the likes of Jose Gomez or – even better – Carlos Alvarez start to slip, then the Timbers should pull the trigger. (Ed.'s note: This still holds true after Thursday's acquisition of Diego Valeri. Can never have enough quality, young depth at attacking mid if you're playing a 4-3-3)
Wish List (Playmakers): Carlos Alvarez (Connecticut), Jose Gomez (Creighton), Mitchell Cardenas (Campbell)