Kosuke Kimura's trade to the Timbers was met with some excitement and that excitement was due to the fact that Lovel Palmer would no longer be needed at the Right Back position. Kosuke was inserted into the line-up right away and right away you could see his strengths and weaknesses and that Portland did not necessarily obtain an upgrade at the Right Back position.
Kosuke earned 16 starts and 17 appearances for the Timbers and in those games he scored once and had one assist. He showed heart and the willingness to put his body on the line, breaking his nose at one point, and one could never question his work ethic on the field. However working hard can only get you so far and this is the case with Kimura. His tendency to lose his marker and be out of position cost the Timbers on multiple occasions as well as his inability to defend some players 1v1 on the wing. His quickness did save him at times but if the player he was marking was just as quick this negated his ability to recover after getting beat.
Overall Kosuke was mediocre and seemed to be a placeholder until the Timbers find a Right Back who can defend and go forward. For all those reasons 4 of the editors on SF voted Kosuke should go. The lone dissenter was William Conwell and the following is his argument for keeping Kosuke.
It seems that calls for a Timbers fire sale are quite common these days and Kimura's is one name on the list of players priced to move. While he is out of contract the Timbers should look to bring Kimura back, if only to assure themselves of one MLS caliber right back. Palmer needs to go and Kawulok, despite many calls to give him playing time, is of unknown quality. The reality is that bringing in a new player is not a sure thing (remember Kerrea Gilbert?) and the Timbers need to hold on to at least one player where they know what they are getting. Kimura is functional, if not optimal, and is a great locker room presence, so the Timbers could definitely use him back next year.