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Portland Timbers Player Ratings #5: David Horst

Coming off another off season surgery, Horst was the Timbers most consistant defender by the end of the season.

Ezra Shaw

Horst started out the year as the Timbers' third option at centerback, behind Hanyer Mosquera and Eric Brunner, but thanks to some injuries and his penchant for aggressive, physical play, Horst grabbed a starting defensive role and held on to it for the rest of the year. Horst's first appearance of the year did not come until the end of May, thanks to off season hip surgery (the same operation that Chris Taylor underwent this year). After finishing his recovery, however, Horst was a fixture on the field for the Timbers, starting all but two of the remaining twenty-two games.

Horst has had his share of detractors over the course of the season, particularly with regards toward his decision making. As Andy put it in his ranking article on Hanyer Mosquera, Horst's style of defending is "adventurous", and his worst plays are usually only separated from his best by a matter of inches or milliseconds. Horst is unafraid to try to cut out a pass or take the ball off the feet of an attacking player and when he does so it is brilliant, however, when he is off by even the smallest margin then bad things happen.

Should he stay in 2013?

Yes. Horst is an able defender who is a known quantity. He may never be an all-star defender, but with some more stability at the full back position and a fellow centerback who can cover for his gambles, Horst could be a solid building block for Caleb Porter at the back. Horst set new career records for appearances and minutes for himself this year and looked much improved as the season went on. Although he had another surgery in October, Horst should be healthy for the beginning of the season and I am looking forward to seeing a full season's effort from him.