Portland Timbers Pass in Stage 2, but Lovel Palmer and Stephen Keel Off to New Homes

Tom Hauck

The Portland Timbers decided not to make a serious play in stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft this year, but a couple of their former players are off to new homes.

With stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft, MLS teams were able to select players who were released by their clubs earlier this month and renegotiate their contracts down from their current salaries. It's pretty much MLS's answer to "free agency" within the league as players still don't have free movement between clubs.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately depending on your view point, the Portland Timbers opted not to select anybody from the draft. For what it's worth, my three picks for Portland earlier this morning were all taken. Danny Califf was selected by Toronto FC for the first pick and the LA Galaxy took Will Hesmer in round two. Corben Bone, for his part, was removed from the draft earlier this morning in an apparent deal with his former club the Chicago Fire.

All was not at a loss however as two former Timbers players were selected:

Lovel Palmer, consistent disappointment to Timbers fans was selected by Real Salt Lake. Perhaps he'll be able to rebuild himself after an unsuccessful stint in the Rose City. I'll be particularly interested in seeing how he develops under Jason Kreis, if they are able to renegotiate his contract.

Stephen Keel, former USL Timbers defender, was also selected by FC Dallas. I always liked Keel and his own goal while playing for the New York Red Bulls in 2011 in Portland sealed his fate as being a forever Timber to me. Happy to see he was able to stick around in the league.

The only former Timbers not selected was Mike Chabala. Unfortunate after such a great start in Portland last year, but it shows just how fast one's stock can slide after a poor season. Hopefully he'll be able to turn it around.

Additionally, as noted before stage 1, Steve Purdy did not take part in the Re-Entry Draft this year despite being released by the Timbers. No telling where he is or where he'll end up, but I imagine he'll want to go somewhere if only to keep his international career alive.

Was there any surprises in the draft for you?

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