With each team having made their end-of-the-year cuts and having decided which options to pick up, we now have a full list of the players who will be available in the first stage of the MLS Re-Entry Draft this Thursday. The Portland Timbers, having finished third in the Supporters' Shield standings and having reached the Western Conference Final in the playoffs, will pick 17th.
There are a wealth of talented players currently without a team in this draft, including four former-designated players, but the likelihood of the Timbers making a pick here looks relatively low. With the teams ahead of them primed to take the pick of the litter, the Timbers will likely be left with a group of players that either do not fit into the team's plans or are on too high of a salary to justify their selection.
While some of the players available may choose retirement (or may even have already retired like potential selection Chris Albright), there are still plenty of potential picks.
The need for another striker to supplement the Timbers' meager ration of two currently signed forwards is apparent. There are plenty of serviceable players at that position in the draft, but few proven ones. Perhaps the biggest names available at forward are Kenny Cooper, Fabian Espindola, and Steve Zakuani.
The other hot position for the Timbers, fullback, also has several viable selections available in the draft. Sean Franklin is certainly the most well thought-of among the fullbacks on offer, but Shaun Francis and Brandon Barklage are possibilities as well.
There are 6 former Timbers available in the draft, most notably Cooper, who failed to come to an agreement with FC Dallas after struggling under the direction of Schellas Hyndman for much of the season. Cooper is joined by Steve Purdy, Mike Chabala, Josh Saunders, and recently waived Timbers David Horst and Ryan Miller.
There are also a number of Caleb Porter's former players from his time at Akron in the draft this year. Zakuani, Blair Gavin, and Sinisa Ubiparipovic are all currently without a team and would be available for Caleb Porter to further reinforce the Akron contingent in Portland.
Any players selected in this draft will have to be extended a bona fide offer by the club that picks them. Any players that go unselected in the first stage will available for selection in the second stage on Wednesday, the 18th.
2013 RE-ENTRY DRAFT ELEGIBLE PLAYERS BY CLUB
Montreal Impact (1): M Sinisa Ubiparipovic
Philadelphia Union (1): D Chris Albright*
Portland Timbers (2): D David Horst, D Ryan Miller
Vancouver Whitecaps (4): GK Joe Cannon, F Tommy Heinemann, F Corey Hertzog, GK Brad Knighton
NOTE: * indicates players out of contract. All other players had their options declined.
Who would you like to see end up with the Timbers from the first stage of the Re-Entry Draft? Let us know in the comments.