Portland Timbers 2012 Player Rankings #30: Steve Purdy

Steve Dykes

Despite playing for the Timbers since 2010, Steve Purdy is still a relatively unknown player in the Rose City.

After starting the season once again on the bench, Purdy was given a chance to start at right back after a series of disastrous performances from Lovel Palmer. Purdy put in two good performances against the L.A. galaxy and Sporting Kansas City, who were then 7-0-0, before going down with the first of a string of injuries that would derail the rest of his season.

By the time Purdy was recovered from the concussion he suffered in Montreal (the Timbers first casualty in the game that more famously caused Troy Perkins to miss his only minutes of the season) and a subsequent elbow to the face while on international duty with El Salvadore, Jhn spencer had departed the club and Purdy was firmly on the outside looking in. Under the reign of Gavin Wilkinson, Purdy did not get a sniff of the first team and was relegated to playing with the young players and reserves whenever the groups split up in practice.

The situation that Steve Purdy finds myself in is an absolute mystery. Here is a player that has been contributing all year at centerback for his national team, who has become very popular with the El Salvadoran fans thanks to his hard work and grit, and yet who is seemingly in the doghouse here, on a team characterized by poor play from the outside backs and inconsistant play from the centerbacks. Surely Purdy has something to contribute? He could likely be paid more and play more in the NASL or USL or even the Salvadoran Primera, so why is he still with the Timbers and why is he on the outside looking in?

Should He Be Kept on for 2013?

Caleb Porter was reported as saying about his current Akron team that their current formation was basically two defenders and eight midfielders. That is not a formation in which I see Steve Purdy thriving. Despite his excellent athleticism as well as some solid defending and tackling, Purdy's weakness has always been his passing, something which is essential in Porter's current system. Despite that shortcoming, Purdy is a good player to have on the roster. MLS teams are not easy to transform in a season and Purdy is a solid and versatile player who is not going to give the team too much of a hit against the salary cap.

Dissenting Opinion

Stacey: Although Purdy has been consistently getting time with his national team and seems to be a decent center back, I don't see him breaking into the Timbers line-up ahead of Horst, Mosquera, Brunner, AJB, and Futty. While he looked fine at right back in a game or two earlier in the season, I don't think the Timbers ever considered using him there long term and I don't think converting a center back to a right back is the right answer for the Timbers anyway. For the reasons Will mentioned, I wouldn't be upset to see Purdy stay, but it might benefit the Timbers more to trade him to a team that needs more depth at center back and might be able to give us something we need in return.

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