The Portland Timbers are missing roughly one million midfielders for today's game and just who Caleb Porter will run out against the Sounders is more unknown than any time since preseason. With that in mind, and with a hat-tip to DDugan for the suggestion, let's try to predict Caleb Porter's lineup, formation, and bench for tonight's match.
Who Might Be Back?
Diego Chara: The little midfielder who could finally managed to get a suspension for yellow card accumulation at the worst possible time. He will be in Seattle, but only to watch.
Will Johnson: Captain Will got dumped on his shoulder in the Timbers' Open Cup match against Real Salt Lake and has not been able to play since. Listed as "day to day" by the team, it does not look likely that we will see WJ take the pitch.
Jack Jewsbury: Captain Jack has been coming back from an ankle injury for the last three weeks, but he is the only one of the injured Timbers to take part in a full practice this week and looks like the most likely to play.
Ben Zemanski: The most mysterious of the injured Timbers, no one has confirmed what injury kept Zemanski out of practice on Friday and Saturday. (My best guess is some groin tightness, which could see him play tonight, or a groin strain, which would likely keep him out.)
Frederic Piquionne: He was hoping to be back for the Dallas game. He wasn't. Nor was he back for the RSL game. The odds of Piq making it on the pitch without having practiced since picking up his ankle injury are low.
David Horst and Bright Dike: A twofer, both players are close to making their return, but neither has even gotten in a reserve match (of which there have been none recently) and the odds of them jumping straight into the eighteen are not good.
So, let us know what formation you think the Timbers will play today and who will be in the eighteen. Bonus points for calling Porter's subs.