So, just what will the Timbers get up to during this long, cold offseason?
If you are anything like me, you will probably do a good deal of speculating, plenty of obsessing, and more than a little reminiscing. So, with all those activities in mind, here is a rough framework for all of us to work around. Anything in italics is an u confirmed date and is based off of last year's preseason schedule, guesswork, or some combination of the two.
During the month of November many of the Timbers younger players and players on the fringes of the team will remain in Portland to train with the Timbers' coaching staff.
Current - 11/30 - Postseason Training
This is the month that Caleb Porter finally (finally!) arrives in Portland and the MLS postseason finally ends with the MLS Cup Final on the 1st. The Timbers faithful have been eagerly awaiting our new coach since John Spencer's firing back in July. Unfortunately, Porter will get here, likely be introduced to the press, and then promptly bunker up with Gavin Wilkinson and the rest of the Timbers staff for the rest of the month. Otherwise, December is a horrible wasteland.
12/1 - MLS Cup Final
12/15 - Caleb Porter arrives in Portland (the date here is from an offhand remark made by Gavin Wilkinson during training)
The 2013 season begins in earnest in January with the MLS Combine, MLS Superdraft (in which the Timbers pick 3rd) and the start of the team's preseason training camp. The combine and draft generally occur in the first and second weeks of the year. The Timbers will also take part in the Desert Friendlies in Tuscon, Arizona, the same preseason tournament that the Timbers took part in last year.
1/11 - 1/15 - MLS Combine
1/17 - MLS Superdraft
1/19 - Players and coaches arrive back in Portland
1/20 - MLS Supplimental Draft
1/21 - Preseason training begins
1/27 - Timbers fly to Arizona for training camp
1/29 - Friendly vs. Colorado Rapids
The preseason continues in February with the Timbers still in Arizona completing the Desert Friendlies before returning to Portland to take part in an as of yet unannounced tournament. Per a tweet from Merritt Paulson last week, the Tournament will likely involve three MLS teams and one European team, possibly Swedish side AIK who took part in a similar tournament last season.
2/1 - Friendly vs. Sporting Kansas City
2/5 - Friendly vs. Seattle Sounders
2/8 - Friendly vs. FC Tuscon
2/9 - Timbers return to Portland to continue preseason training
TBD - Portland Preseason Tournament
March marks the beginning of a new season for the Timbers. If last season is anything to go by, the Timbers will be wrapping up their preseason tournament in the first week of March and will likely play one more friendly before MLS First kick takes place.
3/1 - Roster and Salary Compliance required
3/2 - Waiver Draft
TBD - Final preseason friendly
3/12 - 2013 season begins