Here in Portland, Oregon, things are going really well for the local Professional Soccer team. The Timbers are tied for first in the conference (third in PPG), and are still alive in the US Open Cup, a prestigious tournament that all but one team takes with the utmost seriousness.
But there is one very big, burning question for the team that still remains: Do we have enough Fullbacks?
Last week, Portland's starting (and only apparent) left back, Michael Harrington, went down with a mysterious ankle injury that prevented him from training, and ultimately from competing in Sunday's game against the Colorado Rapids. In his place was the converted CDM-to-RB Jack Jewsbury, who himself has been rotated out of the squad numerous times this season. Posting in the right-back position was Ryan Miller, a player who fans had all-but-forgotten about until he started over Jewsbury against the Galaxy--a move that was likely due to a simple squad rotation to keep players fresh.
This, however, poses another problem. Jewsbury, Miller, and Harrington are the only "true" fullbacks that the Timbers are currently employing. Portland has tried a few other options, such as Ben Zemanski (CM) during a couple regular season games, and Sal Zizzo (RM) and Raushawn McKenzie (CB) who both played RB during US Open Cup games. While Zemanski was actually fairly decent at right back, I assume very few of us would actually feel very comfortable with either of the other two at this point.
If you think that's scary, though, look at our options for left-back: We have Harrington (injured, assumed minor), Silvestre (out for season), Jewsbury and Miller (both right backs), and Rodney Wallace, who was never really good back at LB and is outrageously good at LW. It's not a good situation over there.
You're probably thinking to yourself, "How did we let this happen to us over the offseason?" As of preseason, we had theoretically 4 options at both left back (Harrington, Wallace, Silvestre, and Taylor) and right back (Miller, Jewsbury, Kawulok, Zizzo). Then again, we also had 7 healthy center backs. Portland was EASILY covered across the entire back line, yet due to injuries, needs elsewhere, and personal matters, what looked like our best part of the field was suddenly stretched paper-thin.
So at this point, what do we do? Do we use the upcoming transfer window to look for extra depth (knowing that last year, all that yielded was Kosuke Kimura)? Or do we trust that our utility men can fill in where they need to?
With the recent injury to Michael Harrington and the general lack of a designed replacement, what do you think the team should do (if anything) in response?