One week after Bloody Monday we recap the state of the Timbers roster and look at what is still to come in the offseason.
In last week's series of trades, cuts, and signings, the Timbers were among the most active teams in MLS as they continue reshaping the roster for Caleb Porter's arrival. So what sort of shape are the Timbers in now, and what should we look forward to in the next two months as preseason approaches?
Will Johnson: LM/CM, 25, aquired from Real Salt Lake for allocation money. Johnson has a reputation as a hard working and gritty midfielder who also brings a fair amount of skill to the table. Someone you hate when he is playing against your team, there is almost no way that he will not be a fan favorite in Portland and absolutely reviled in Seattle.
Michael Harrington: LB/RB, 26, aquired from Sporting Kansas City for allocation money. Harrington played left back for several mid-table but still playoff bound Kansas City Wizards teams. However, since the acquisition of Chance Myers, one of the league's better outside backs, Harrington has not seen much of the field.
Steven Smith: Smith's option was not picked up by the Timbers as it included a significant pay increase. Although the team tried to renegotiate his contract, his family's decision to stay in Scotland and the possibility of a more lucrative contract back across the pond prevented Smith from staying in Portland.
Waived: Steve Purdy, Lovel Palmer, Charles Renken, Freddy Braun
Danny Mwanga: On a high salary already thanks to his graduated Generation Adidas contract, Mwanga's output has only been modest since his first year in the league (7 goals and 5 assists in 2010 vs. 8 goals and 5 assists in 2011 and 2012 combined). The Timbers have certainly been trying to renegotiate Mwanga's contract with an eye toward keeping the hometown boy here without breaking bank and it seems they may have had some success given team owner Merritt Paulson's recent tweet, "Should have some good news for release next week on @dmwanga10".
Jose Adolfo Valencia: The Timbers' young striker spent all of last season on the Long Term Injury list, only joining the team for their last few months of practice. Despite the time spent recovering from surgery, Wilkinson had nothing but praise for Valencia at the end of the season, talking up his hard work in practice and his drive to join the team for their final reserve game. Valencia should still be expected to be back with the Timbers next season, but an official announcement could take a while given the vaguaries of dealing with transfers from South America.
Mike Fucito: Fucito is the biggest question mark remaining from last year's roster. The Timbers have not mentioned him in any of their press releases and public opinion seemed to be turning against Fucito after the Timbers' unfortunate result in Seattle. Fucito seems like a good possibility to see traded soon after the team's silence on his status.
With only twenty six of a possible thirty players currently on the Timbers roster, there are certainly still changes to come during this offseason. In part 2 of this roster recap we will look at the team's current composition and needs along the back line, part 3 will look at the midfield, part 4 will cover the forwards, and in part 5 we will do some speculating as to just how those needs and wants could be filled.