Portland Timbers SuperDraft Preview: Will Caleb Porter seek out more players from Akron?

Ahead of the 2014 SuperDraft, MLSsoccer.com is breaking down each team's needs and potential draft targets. Will the Portland Timbers go back to the Akron well?

The Timbers' starting lineup will return relatively unchanged – and arguably upgraded with the additions of Norberto Paparatto and Gastón Fernández – from the squad that topped the Western Conference during the 2013 regular season. So the 2014 SuperDraft will be about depth for reigning Coach of the Year Caleb Porter.

Will any of that depth come from the Akron Zips squad that Porter coached before taking on the Timbers job? Prospects like forward Reinaldo Brenes (he played for the Timbers U-23s) and left-footed midfielder Aodhan Quinn could be in the running.

Portland Timbers SuperDraft Picks: #17 (1st Rd), #26 (2nd Rd), #36 (2nd Rd), #39 (3rd Rd), #71 (4th Rd), #73 (4th Rd)

Portland Timbers Depth Chart (26 players):

Goalkeepers (3): Donovan Ricketts, Jake Gleeson, Andrew Weber

Right Backs (2): Jack Jewsbury, Alvas Powell

Left Backs (2): Michael Harrington, Jorge Villafana

Centerbacks (6): Norberto Paparatto, Futty Danso, Pa Modou Kah, Mikael Silvestre, Rauwshan McKenzie, Bryan Gallego

Center Mids (4): Diego Chara, Will Johnson, Ben Zemanski, Steven Evans

Left Wingers (2): Rodney Wallace, Steve Zakuani

Right Wingers (2): Darlington Nagbe, Kalif Alhassan

Attacking Mids (2): Diego Valeri, Michael Nanchoff

Forwards (3): Gaston Fernandez, Frederic Piquionne, Maximiliano Urruti

International slots (0 of 8 available): Kalif Alhassan, Alvas Powell, Diego Valeri, Frederic Piquionne, Pa Modou Kah, Maximiliano Urruti, Mikael Silvestre, Norberto Paparatto, Gaston Fernandez

Portland Timbers Primary Need: Depth on the wing

Wallace is hurt, Zakuani is a question (though the Timbers are right to be hopeful). Nagbe is the man, but he can't/shouldn't play every minute, and Alhassan is probably best as a central midfield sub. Nanchoff? He'll play some, but it's always good to get skill where you can.

Targets: Andre Lewis (Jamaica U-20s), Thomas McNamara (Clemson), Ryan Neil (California)

Portland Timbers Secondary Need: Back-up d-mid

Will they be able to keep Zemanski? And what if Chará goes down? There’s no heir apparent in the current roster, and a draft deep with d-mids seems like a good time to find quality.

Targets: Jared Watts (Wake Forest), J.J. Koval (Stanford), Joey Dillon (Georgetown), George Fochive (Connecticut), Fifi Baiden (UC Santa Barbara), Romena Bowie (VCU)


SAN JOSE: Can Quakes find a player at No. 9 who can start right away?

FC DALLAS: Will Oscar Pareja make a run at NCAA top scorer?

LA GALAXY: Bruce Arena merely putting finishing touches on 2014 squad

REAL SALT LAKE: Jeff Cassar's first big decisions come in SuperDraft

VANCOUVER: GA prospects are the targets for 'Caps

COLORADO: Will Rapids be heading in a different direction post-Pareja?

CHIVAS USA: Can the Goats find the next Jonathan Bornstein?


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