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Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

  • Strength: A veteran core that’s made a final in two straight years, and three of the past four.
  • Weakness: That core is OLD, and if Blanco’s knee is as bad as it seems, it doesn’t bode well for their ability to create high-level chances via anything but the counter.

Key Departures

  • Diego Valeri: A Portland Timbers icon and MLS legend, Diego Valeri penned a heartfelt goodbye to his second home with a transfer back to Lanus in his native Argentina. He's truly among the best to have ever done it and a pioneer. Further good news? It’s a temporary goodbye. Valeri will return to the Timbers as a club ambassador once his playing days are over.
  • Steve Clark: Starting goalkeeper Steve Clark left in free agency for Houston Dynamo FC, after a successful stint with Portland. Clark twice started MLS Cup with the club. The departure creates a chance for Aljaz Ivacic to start, though David Bingham was also signed and will compete for minutes.

Key Acquisitions

  • David Ayala: David Ayala is a highly-rated Argentine youth international midfielder, acquired from Estudiantes this offseason and added via the U22 Initiative. The 19-year-old can play as a defensive midfielder or in a box-to-box role, meaning he’s a good fit next to either Diego Chara or Eryk Williamson. He should have the chance to earn minutes in 2022 under manager Giovanni Savarese.
  • Portland didn’t bring in many external additions, but crucially sealed a return for DP and talisman Sebastian Blanco. They also reached a new loan agreement for starting right back Josecarlos Van Rankin.
  • Full roster

Projected Starting XI

Portland Timbers - projected XI 2022

Predictions

  • Charles Boehm: 7th in West
  • Tom Bogert: 5th in West
  • Matt Doyle: 9th in West
  • David Gass: 9th in West
  • Sam Jones: 6th in West
  • Joe Lowery: 8th in West
  • Greg Seltzer: 4th in West
  • Andrew Wiebe: 6th in West