Before we get into today's player ranking we here at SF wanted to let you know we are planning on releasing the editor's rankings in a post after all of the players have been announced. Also, our top three articles will also be a little more in depth and could include some video highlights.
A few games into the season it was apparent the outside backs Portland acquired during the 2011 season were not the answer and thus forced Portland to look for help. They found what they thought was help at the left back by signing Steven Smith on a free transfer. Steven started immediately but did not look like he was anywhere near ready to start and it left most of us fans wondering why Portland signed him.
Over the next month or so Steven gradually improved and got accustomed to the rigors of MLS travel and showed us he could be the answer at let back. Smith's highlight of the season was his assist to Kris Boyd during the first Seattle game. Smith was constantly working up the field to join the attack. During the run of play Smith probably had the best cross on the team and his biggest weakness, speedy wings, became less and less exposed as the season progressed.
Steven Smith ended the year with the following stats:
Should he have been re-signed?
The decision to resign Steven Smith came down to one thing and only one thing and that was the money. Steven Smith was reportedly asking for a healthy pay raise and if Portland wanted to improve the squad they would need that money to sign other players so in the end Smith's option was not picked up by the team with money being an issue. Before the editors knew of Smith's option not being picked up we all unanimously had decided he was one show should be kept as he was by far the best defender Portland had during the year. In the end Portland decided not to keep him.