Late last year the Portland Timbers blew up their roster. Players were waived, or traded to other MLS teams. It probably wasn't the best time to be a Timbers player. Too much uncertainty can breed discontent after all. But through it all, the Timbers weren't only blowing up their roster, they were also rebuilding it simultaneously. The additions of key players such as Will Johnson and Ryan Johnson are probably two of the bigger highlights.
Fast forward about 6 months and we reach today. The Portland Timbers are currently undefeated in 11 games, though not without some struggles. They're currently sitting in second place in the Western Conference, and fourth overall, if we're looking at the Supporters Shield Race. While nothing is guaranteed, it's certainly looking like it will be a better season than 2012 with a spot in the playoffs pretty much expected by fans and pundits at this point.
Which leads me to the title of this article, being that it's Memorial Day and that the Timbers have an extended break from MLS regular season, I figured it might be a good time to revisit the season that's been. We all had expectations heading into the 2013 season. Some, like myself, expected a better but still struggling side. Honestly, I thought 2013 would look more like the 2011 season.
For me, what's been most surprising, is Rodney Wallace's play. I've never been the biggest RodWal proponent. I didn't dislike him, but I certainly never saw him as a core part of the team. Fast forward to today and I'm left wondering how his potential and talent were left alone for so long. Caleb Porter has seemingly crafted Wallace into one of the best left attacking forwards in the league. From where he was a year ago to today... wow.
There are plenty of things to still be surprised about however. So let's hear em!
What has surprised you most about this season? Timbers or league-wide. Have at it!