Portland Timbers turn to Andrew Weber for next two weeks with Donovan Ricketts suspended
BEAVERTON, Ore. – The Portland Timbers got some good news this week in regard to Donovan Ricketts – to go along with the bad news.
The good news is that an MRI, apparently, found no serious damage to his knee following a collision with Deshorn Brown in Saturday’s 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids. Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said after Thursday’s session at the team training facility before departing for their Saturday game at FC Dallas (8:30 pm ET; MLS Live) that Ricketts will be available when they take on Chivas USA on April 12.
The bad news, which came earlier in the week and is the reason the reigning Goalkeeper of the Year will be out for two weeks, is his two-game suspension stemming from the Brown collision.
“The results are good enough where he’ll be back from Chivas,” Porter said of Ricketts’ MRI. “That’s all you need to know. At the end of the day, he’s going to be back for Chivas.”
Porter will turn to newly acquired backup Andrew Weber for Portland’s next two matches. That means he’ll be in the net for the April 5 showdown with the Seattle Sounders at Providence Park, the first of three meetings between the Cascadia rivals.
“I think anytime you bring in a guy, a goalkeeper essentially to be the backup, he has to always prepare to be the starter too,” Porter said. “So at any given moment you need to be ready. He now has the opportunity to play, and he’s excited. He’s looked good in training, and we feel good about it.”
The 30-year-old Weber was acquired – following the retirement of Milos Kocic, Portland’s backup last season – over the offseason after spending the previous two seasons with the Sounders. Weber came on against Colorado after Ricketts was sent off and a minute later conceded another penalty kick when he chopped down Vicente Sánchez.
“We’ve got the same confidence in Andrew that we do with Donovan,” Timbers captain Will Johnson said. “He’s an experienced guy, he’s been around the block a few times, been in the league for a long time, so he knows what he’s doing. I think it’s more of a communication thing in the beginning, getting that message across, getting guys where he wants them on different set piece situations and things like that, every goalie is a little bit different.”
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MLS pool goalkeeper Daniel Withrow will serve as Weber’s backup against FC Dallas. Porter said they’ll recall Jake Gleeson, who is on loan with Sacramento Republic FC and is expected to start this weekend against LA Galaxy II, to be on the bench for the Sounders game.
In other injury news, center back Norberto Paparatto, who missed the Colorado game with a groin injury after starting the first two games of the season, is “fine,” according to Porter and will likely travel to Dallas.
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com.