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Six Degrees: Offseason Degrees

Word Count 1, DeMann 0

Marvin Loria and Renzo Zambrano
Sam Ortega, Portland Timbers

What’s this? C.I.’s gotten off his lazy ass to write an offseason post? Yes, it’s true. And this is only the first.

1) But don’t expect too much from these offseason posts. They’re going to be a good deal shorter than my in-season match responses. Those are usually 1,500 words, minimum. If I’m particularly wound up, they can hit 2,000, maybe 2,500 words, and take all damn day to write.

These offseason posts? I’d like to get out of here in 600 words. Is that possible? Can I, for the first time in my life, show a little restraint? Let’s find out.

2) What am I gonna talk about? Depends what’s going on. And so far this offseason, there ain’t much going on.

For example, are their any new players the Timbers have signed? Nope. Any new players they’re thinking about signing? Not that we’ve heard of.

Is there a chance the Timbers will go the entire offseason without bringing anyone in? It’s unlikely, but yeah, it could happen. They could wait until the season’s underway, when they’ll have a better sense of what they need. I actually like this strategy, to be honest, but do I think it will happen? No. We’ll sign somebody before long. Surely.

3) There have been some tiny little personnel things, though.

Marvin Loria and Renzo Zambrano, both of whom tore it up for T2 last year, have been signed to first team contracts.

One of their roster spots came at the expense of Jack Barmby, who’s been released by the Timbers, then signed by San Antonio FC of the USL.

Will Loria and Zambrano see more playing time than Barmby ever did? I hope so, since I’m already working on nicknames for them.

I’m pretty sure Loria’s going to be either “Marvelous Marvin” or “Starvin’ Marvin,” depending on how he did in that week’s match.

Zambrano, he’s a bit tougher. “Renzo the Mercedes Benzo?” “Better Than Melano Zambrano?” Neither of these are knocking my socks off. Got any suggestions?

4) Jack Barmby’s departure was no big deal, but Alvas Powell’s was. And also a bit sad. The Jamaican international, who arrived in this town a boy and leaves a young man, has been a key player for years. But since he seems to have lost his starting spot to Zarek Valentin, trading him to FC Cincinnati makes sense. He’ll be reunited with Fanendo Adi, and will hopefully keep Cincy’s defense from crashing and burning like Minnesota United’s has.

Alvas scored six goals for the Timbers, and three, maybe four of them were complete bangers. Here are all six Alvas goals, in the order he scored them. Pick your favorite. Mine’s the one where he puts that poor defender in the spin cycle.

5) The 2019 schedule came out this week and it’s more than a little asymmetrical.

A lot of people have written a lot of words regarding the schedule, so I’ll just give a few random thoughts here.

  • First 12 games on the road.
  • 11 of the last 12 at home.
  • Last game in the Eastern time zone: July 7
  • Wednesday games: 5
  • Worst week: June 22-30, because it’s home Saturday, Montreal Wednesday, home Sunday.
  • Weeks with the dreaded Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday combo: 0

And here’s a really good thread from Chris Rifer talking about games in which we’ll probably face a second-choice lineup.

Anything you’ve noticed about the schedule? Let me know down in the comments.

6) And we’ll finish with something to distract you this offseason: a website that allows you to design your own soccer uniforms.

It’s not perfect. There are only so many designs and so many colors, plus you need to supply your own logo clip art. Regardless, it’s a hell of a lot of fun, I spent a few happy hours there, and I’m pretty sure that if the Timbers put out this jersey I designed, Merritt Paulson would suffocate under the pile of money fans threw at him.

And that takes us to 704 words. Not too bad, but I can do better. Next week, I’m definitely hitting that 600 word goal. See you then.