It seems clear that Porter is taking the long view by valuing youth. Players currently on our roster who are 23 or younger include 4 out of 10 defenders, 4 out of 11 midfielders, and 4 out of 6 forwards (!). The average Timber player is is 24.23. At the beginning of 2012, the league average was 27.94 (according to http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2012/04/11/climbing-ladder-average-age-mls-rise). The youngest team was 26.18. There is a definite correlation between the better teams and the older teams, and an upward age trend compared to 2011.
So we are looking at an extremely young squad this year. I'm OK with this approach. But it is going to take patience. I hope people can temper their expectations and give Porter at least two years before we start hearing calls for his head. I've stated that my hopes are to improve by the end of 2013, make the playoffs in 2014, and be competitive for league titles in 2015. When I look at these age statistics, I think even that timetable may be ambitious.
(I'm assuming that Songo'o is out, counting Nagbe and Wallace as M, Fehr as a D.)
Your thoughts on the importance of age in MLS, the Timbers' youth and its significance?