Portland Timbers 2012 Player Rankings #29: Mike Chabala

Steve Dykes

Despite some heroics in his first couple months, this defender slowly sunk into mediocrity for the 2012 season.

Mike Chabala was traded to the Portland Timbers in the summer of 2011 along with Lovel Palmer to a bit of fan fair. Houston Dynamo fans claimed the Timbers got a solid left back defender who was a fan favorite among the orange clad team. Indeed in the first couple months since his arrival, Chabala did indeed seem to be the missing piece the Timbers were missing as he earned his first goal wearing green and white in just his second game with the Timbers against the LA Galaxy. He even earned a special place in Timbers fans' hearts when he spectacularly karate chopped his log slice in half after it previously broke.

Unfortunately for the Timbers, Chabala ended up not being the left back they desperately needed. While he was slower than previous left back Rodney Wallace, he didn't make up for the fact with better defending. Instead, he ended up being a left back wing player who's attacking flair lacked Wallace's speed, and defensive abilities that were inconsistent. During his tenure with the Timbers he made some seriously head-scratchingly bizarre defensive moves.

Then, during the summer of 2012 he was traded to DC United for peanuts. An unfortunate end to his Timbers career.

Should he have been traded?

Yes. There's really no argument here for him. While he was serviceable at times, his inconsistencies were maddening. Add that to the fact that Steven Smith, while beginning his Timbers career slowly, was fast becoming the left back Timbers fans have been begging for since summer of 2011, there seemed to be little reason to keep Chabala around.

It was a shame that Chewie wasn't able to build his legacy with the Timbers though after such a strong start though.

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