One of the very first roster moves the Portland Timbers made last season was the one that brought Michael Harrington to Portland from Sporting Kansas City in exchange for allocation money. He turned out to be a key part of the Timbers' roster in 2013.
2012 Rank: N/A
One of the few Timbers defenders who made it all season without a serious injury, Harrington started all but one of the Timbers' league games in 2013, as well as all of the playoff games and two USOC matches. He led the team in minutes in 2013 and did so playing in a particularly demanding position; according to the Opta chalkboard on mlssoccer.com the Timbers' outside backs regularly record more "events" than any other players on the field.
One of Harrington's biggest strengths was surely his consistency. He rarely had a bad game and always brought his best effort. With just one assist in 2013, he was not as directly involved in the attack as Caleb Porter would perhaps like his outside backs to be, but he was always their helping Rodney Wallace (or whoever else was on the left) work the ball up the field into dangerous positions and was one of the five Timbers among the top 50 most accurate passers in MLS. On the other end of the field, Harrington was a part of the defense that allowed the second fewest goals in the league.
At 27, Harrington still has some years of good soccer left in his legs. Jorge Villafaña, a recent Timbers acquisition, can also play at left back, but with the hard work and consistently solid play Harrington gave the team all through 2013, it seems like a starting spot is his to lose.