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Despite the changes to Major League Soccer's Reserve League there are just never enough minutes to go around. Bright Dike and Andrew Jean-Baptiste both benefitted from their time with the LA Blues in 2012, so who could the Timbers loan out in 2013?
Who Needs To Go On Loan
Gleeson has been third on the Timbers' depth chart since his knee injury early last season. With the addition of David Meves via the Supplemental Draft, a player described by Caleb Porter as "a training goalkeeper" who "maybe in the future becomes a guy who plays", Gleeson's place on the roster is increasingly in peril. Meves has not been signed by the team, but if he is kept on board Gleeson will need to prove that he has the skill to be a starter, even if Milos Kocic is the team's keeper for the immediate future.
The Timbers reserves have looked inclined toward a 4-3-3 line-up in their run outs during the Desert Friendlies over the last two weeks, making spots in the center of the midfield, Evans' natural position, a rarity. Mobi Fehr, Rodney Wallace, and Kalif Alhassan have all staked their claims in limited action so far, as has trialist Michael Nanchoff, so the possibility of Evans breaking in to even the starting eleven of the reserves looks somewhat slim. However, a stint in the lower divisions, showing he can hang with the faster speed of play in the pros, could certainly raise Evans' stock in the team's eyes and give him a chance to make his mark in the final months of the season.
Who Should Stay in Portland
Fehr is still only 18 years old but already he looks comfortable in the middle of the pitch for the Timbers, while also providing the flexibility of being able to play anywhere along the back line if need be. Where Fehr has seemed to be lacking in his appearances so far is the physical portion of the game, having the fortitude to stand up to the bigger, stronger forwards and midfielders who are so often favored in MLS. If Fehr is a long term part of the team's plans, keeping him with Caleb Porter and fitness coach John Cone will likely do more for him this year than a stint in the lower leagues would.
Two weeks ago the Timbers were full up with forwards, but after the recent knee injuries to Brent Richards and Bright Dike, Seba has moved from a fixture at forward with the reserves to a potential member of the game day 18. While a Bright Dike-esque run of goal scoring while on loan could potentially help Seba out in the future, for now he is looking sharp and driven in practice.
Who do you think would benefit from some time spent on loan? Let us know in the comments.