MLS is Back

Portland Timbers 2023 Season Preview

Portland Timbers: 2023 Portland Plaid Kit

Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

  • Strength: Any team that primarily plays out of a 4-2-3-1 wants to check three boxes on the “3” line: elite match-winners… flexibility… depth. Check, check, check.
  • Weakness: They were so unstructured last year that goalkeeper Aljaž Ivačič had to stand on his head week after week after week, and even that wasn’t enough to drag this team over the finish line and into the playoffs. Just adding more in the attack doesn’t change that. They’ve got to be more connected from front to back.

Key Departures

  • Bill Tuiloma: New Zealand international center back Bill Tuiloma was traded to Charlotte FC late in preseason. He made more than 100 appearances for the club.
  • Josecarlos Van Rankin: Portland return the most minutes played from 2022, losing one regular in the rotation: right back Josecarlos Van Rankin. With blossoming Colombian talent Juan David Mosquera signing last summer, it was clear Portland had other plans for the position.

Key Acquisitions

  • Evander: Brazilian attacking midfielder Evander arrives on a club-record transfer fee from FC Midtjylland, becoming the Europa League’s assists leader through the 2022-23 group stage. Evander tallied 50g/58a in 167 appearances with the Danish club as he developed from a talented young player to a consistent attacker entering his prime.
  • Other than that, no external senior additions (so far). The MLS Primary Transfer Window stays open until April 24 and the Timbers will remain active in talks for a new forward and center back.
  • Full roster

Projected Starting XI

Season preview - 2023 - POR lineup


  • Marcelo Balboa: 8th in West
  • Charles Boehm: 11th in West
  • Tom Bogert: 5th in West
  • Matt Doyle: 6th in West
  • David Gass: 6th in West
  • J. Sam Jones: 6th in West
  • Sacha Kljestan: 8th in West
  • Kaylyn Kyle: 4th in West
  • Joseph Lowery: 7th in West
  • Melissa Ortiz: 5th in West
  • Danielle Slaton: 7th in West
  • Andrew Wiebe: 9th in West
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips: 5th in West

Odds & Ends

  • Head coach: Giovanni Savarese
  • Stadium: Providence Park
  • Last year: 11W-10L-13T, 46 points, 8th in West
  • Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs: Did not qualify