It just wouldn't be MLS Roster Compliance Day without Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson dropping a hint about impending roster moves. Of course, Paulson did not go into specifics in his tweeted innuendo, simply saying that Timbers and Thorns general manager Gavin Wilkinson was hard at work and that there would hopefully be news for both teams in "the next week or so".
Back to reg programming - hope to have both timbers and thorns news in next week or so. Gavin is working hard.— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) March 1, 2016
So, what moves could Paulson be referring to?
On Monday the annual rumor linking the Timbers to Vancvouer Whitecaps FC striker Darren Mattocks surfaced when the Vancouver Province's Marc Weber tweeted that the two team's general managers had been in a long discussion on Saturday while the Whitecaps were in town for the 2016 Simple Invitational.
Today the nascent rumor seemingly became somewhat more substantial, following a tweet from Taylor Twellman asserting that Timbers' coach Caleb Porter has been after Mattocks since he took over the Timbers in 2013.
Porter has sought Mattocks since he was in @MLS....this would be interesting to say the least. #MLS #PORvCLB https://t.co/Cg18tpgBLU— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) March 1, 2016
With Mattocks seemingly on the outs with Vancouver, buried down the depth chart behind the team's more recent signings at striker but still taking up a significant cap hit for the Whitecap, Weber and Twellman's speculation does not seem outside the realm of possibility.
However, where the possibility of signing Mattocks falls short is in the Timbers' current needs. More than anything, the Timbers need another winger, preferably a left footed one. This fact was made all the more apparent in the team's recent loss to the Chicago Fire, when Lucas Melano's tendency to cut inside from the left leg the Timbers unable to properly exploit the Fire's five man back line and Dairon Asprilla's ankle sprain -- minor though it may be -- left the team suddenly without a single, healthy true winger.
So, are the Timbers pursuing Mattocks, or could we be looking at one of those "Mystery Wingers" that the Timbers' fan base has been lusting after since the confirmed departure of Rodney Wallace back in January?
The Thorns situation, barring any extremely unforeseen developments, seems much more straightforward. The Thorns have reportedly been in pursuit of French midfielder Amandine Henry, one of the consensus best players in the world, for some time now.
While the links between the Thorns and Henry have been regular, nothing solid has come from them as of yet. Could this finally be the signing that Thorns fans have been waiting on for months now?