Stumptown Footy Mailbag: Genesis Edition

Steve Dykes

With a little downtime in training reports it was a good time to visit all the questions our readers have about the Portland Timbers and MLS.

Thank you for the amount of questions you have all provided. They were all great questions and some of them will probably turn into articles all by themselves. It was hard to choose which ones to answer but in the end I went with the ones that I knew the most information on and filed away the ones I need to find more information on. If I didn't choose yours I am sorry but I hope to try and answer it in the future.

This will be a monthly article so please keep the questions coming.

Why do The Portland Timbers not have a policy prohibiting visiting fans sitting outside the designated section?

The easiest answer to this is that it would be impossible to enforce. Tickets are always available on secondary markets such as Craigslist and StubHub and can be bought by visiting fans. However, the FO and all other FO's do have a policy concerning the traveling supporters groups and this is something they can have control over. As for the visiting fans not following stadium rules I would say that after the Timbers Joey and ECS brouhaha the Timbers FO have really done a good job of keeping the peace, at least around the visiting supporters group's section. They now have ropes which split the stairs into two parts and keep the home fans from mingling with the away supporters. They have posted police officers in the rafters to get a birds eye view of the two sections and have more stadium security around those two sections.

Homegrowns? Who is eligible?

League rules state that only those players who have played for a year in Portland's academy system are eligible to be signed as a homegrown player. The Academy system means he U-16 and U-18 teams only. The U-23 Timbers are not eligible because it is not a team considered to be part of the academy system but what the U-23's provide is extended scouting on possible draftees.

But what about Steven Evans or Brent Richards? Both Richards and Evans played for Eastside United before the Timbers joined MLS and the formation of the academy teams. At the time Eastside United was run by Gavin Wilkinson and thus MLS allowed those two to be signed as homegrowns. Don't expect that to happen in the future as Portland now has an academy system in place but it is possible that MLS would allow Portland to sign players from the clubs that are now under the Portland Timbers Alliance.

How might the intraleague loan system benefit The Portland Timbers?

I don't think it would benefit the Portland Timbers to loan out players to other teams. The players Portland would want to loan out are players that need playing time and usually are players that have been on the team for less than a year. This means that when they are loaned out they don't learn the intricacies of Caleb Porter's system and may even learn things not need to be unlearned when they come back. Imagine if we sent someone to San Jose and all they learned was route one. It would be more of a detriment to the player than a benefit and they would still be in the same situation they were before they left. It is better to keep them and then loan them to lower leagues after a year or so with the Timbers.

Any roles the Timbers might want filled, like target forward?

I am not so sure the Portland Timbers need a target forward. What they need is someone who can pass the ball and apply pressure on the oppositions defenders. Maximiliano Urruti is the exact player Caleb Porter wants at the top. He can create, distribute and works his butt off to pressure defenders. Just watch this to remind yourself what his pressure will do. For a great explanation on the role of target forward watch this video. In the end Matt Doyle says the role of a target forward is not only to score goals but to make it easier for everyone else to score goals. So in a sense the Timbers already have that player in Urruti and therefore don't need to go out and get another forward.

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