Since putting his playing days behind him, Taylor Twellman has become something of an MLS oracle: he says something and sooner or later it becomes true. With that in mind, it is no surprise that a Twellman tweet from Sunday morning has everybody in Portland talking about Will Johnson's future with the Portland Timbers.
Now, Twellman has not followed this assertion up with anything to clarify it. This could be just his opinion or it could be information passed his way from any number of sources with the team or the league.
But with the Timbers' recent switch to a single holding midfielder on the pitch, the emergence of George Fochive, the return of Ben Zemanski, and the continued quality of Jack Jewsbury, Johnson's spot on the team is certainly looking very crowded and, with a big cap hit to his name, Johnson is not a player that the Timbers can afford to stash on the bench.
Twellman's tweet was, in fact, prompted by some speculation from our own Chris Rifer that Johnson and some cap relief could be packaged up and traded to the Chicago Fire for the number one pick in the 2016 Superdraft.
@MLSAnalyst Doesn’t Will Johnson (w/ cap relief) to CHI for the #1 pick make sense? WJ great partner for Polster. PTFC needs next gen at CB.— Chris Rifer (@ChrisRifer) November 15, 2015
The season is not yet over and, with holes in the Timbers' lineup following the suspensions of Diego Valeri and Rodney Wallace for yellow card accumulation going into this weekend's match against FC Dallas, Johnson could still play a role for the Timbers. However, the possible reasons for the Timbers to offload Johnson seem to be mounting.
Prompted to talk about Johnson's play with the Canadian National team at practice this morning, Caleb Porter told the press that it was clear that with every game Johnson takes a step back toward being himself.
Do you think that Will Johnson will be back with the Timbers next year? If not, what do you think the Timbers should look to pick up for the team's captain? Give us your thoughts in the comments.