For the 2nd straight week, we’ve got actual news! Let’s get into it.
1) Just last week, I was crowing about all the injured players who are now healthy and ready to play in the MLS is Back Tournament. But for one of those players, right back Jorge Moreira, things have taken a strange turn. It was announced last week that the cost of turning his loan into a permanent contract is a bit too high, so we’re sending him back to his original club, Argentine giant River Plate. Timbers GM Gavin Wilkinson expressed hopes, though, that when Moreira’s contract with River runs out, he can come back to the Timbers, possibly with no transfer fee at all.
All sounds pretty reasonable, right? Kind of a bummer that we’ll lose our starting right back – possibly the most talented right back we’ve ever had – but a normal bit of soccer business. It was time to move on and figure out a replacement.
Our right back replacement could be Chris Duvall, who started the season’s first two games. It might also be the newly-healthy Bill Tuiloma, who can play both center back and fullback. Or it might even be our brand-new signing from T2, 20-year-old Venezuelan Pablo Bonilla.
These were the normal, reasonable things to talk about with Moreira leaving the team.
2) Except, wait. It’s possible Moreira’s not leaving.
Check out this story from Sunday’s TyC Sports. (Or this English-language version from Transfermarkt) Moreira doesn’t want to leave! He’s refusing to go back to River Plate! They don’t even have a roster spot for him if he does go back! Intrigue! Drama! How will it end?
I have no idea how it will end. I’m not a reporter, I have no inside information, and I’ll find out how this resolves itself at the same time as you, probably. Until then, all we can do is guess, and my guess is that Moreira ends up somewhere else in MLS. I think River Plate won’t lower its transfer fee, the Timbers will continue declining to pay it, and the involved parties will start asking around to see if some other team will. That’s my prediction, but it’s not based on any inside information.
Do I want Moreira to end up playing for Miami or New England or whoever? No, I want him in the green and gold. But I have no idea if that will happen. Just like you, I’ll have to wait and see.
3) In other wait-and-see news, I don’t think there’s going to be a Cascadia Cup this year. Though I’m not positive, since the Timbers Army statement was a little vague. Read it here and tell me what you think. I’ll wait.
Well? What do you think? Judging from the slightly vague wording, I think games without fans and games without a home-and-away won’t count toward the Cup. In other words, the 2020 Cascadia Cup’s not officially canceled, but might as well be, since we’re almost certainly not meeting these requirements.
Am I reading it right? No fans and no home-and-aways mean it doesn’t count for the Cascadia Cup?
To be honest, this press release feels overly hopeful that we might get normal games this year. If I’d had some input on all this, I’d have just canceled the Cup for 2020. Start it again next year. We’ll understand.
What do you think? Do you think there’s a genuine chance we’ll get some Cascadia Cup games this year? Also, do you think I’m mis-reading this press release? If I came to the wrong conclusions, please let me know down in comments.
4) We might as well continue the theme, so here’s even more news that you may have already seen.
BREAKING NEWS: Another horrible day in Orange County where #MLSisBack will be held. New #COVID19 cases - 340, second highest single day total ever. Positive test %- 17.9%. #coronavirus #Covid_19— COVID-19 fighter Krishnaiyer (@kkfla737) June 20, 2020
Orange County, Florida is where Orlando is. Where the MLS is Back Tourney’s being played.
I know it’s only been a week, but I’m already starting to wonder if the tournament’s getting canceled. Hell, I’m wondering if the tournament should get canceled. I mean, I really, really, really want to see the boys play again (and the Thorns, who’ll be doing their tournament in Utah), but not if it means a bunch of athletes catching the COVID.
But not all the news is bad. Here’s a comparison to other states.
NY (as a state) had 668 cases per 100k at the peak, and it was likely much more than that considering the positivity rate at the time. Westchester (original hotspot) has 1200 so NYC was probably closer to 1500. AZ is edging towards 300, TX is around 100 and FL is around 115. https://t.co/evSHXOWrfK— Ben Baer (@BenBaer89) June 19, 2020
So what do you think? If you were in charge, would you cancel the MLS is Back tournament? I’m honestly not sure what I’d do. Maybe move it to another state? A state handling the coronavirus a little better?
5) But apparently that state ain’t Oregon. Check out this map.
How the hell did Oregon end up dark brown? Look at the other dark brown states. Those aren’t really states I want to be associated with. The only time I want to be in the same group as Florida, Alabama, and Oklahoma is if we’re talking about college football. Otherwise, that’s not a crew you want to be hanging with. I thought Oregon was better than this.
Anyway, this just makes me more worried that the MLS is Back tournament might get canceled. And I can’t even decide if that would be a good thing. I’m filled with a confusing mixture of emotions. Let me know what you think down in comments. Maybe you can help me figure out how to feel.
6) Okay, let’s take a break from all that serious news and finish with something decidedly non-serious. Hair. Specifically, let’s have some laughs over the quarantine hair we saw in this video the Timbers put out.
First up, Larrys Mabiala and his cool little mini-dreads.
Mini-dreads? Starter dreads? Training dreads? I’m not sure what to call this, but I like it.
Next up, Sebastian Blanco. At least, I think it’s Seba.
This fascinates me. What’s he working on here? Are those going to turn into braids? Long skinny pony tails? Is he going to grow them out until he’s got 10 long skinny pony tails going from the top of his head down to his shoulders? Because, if so, I think he’s going to look like the monster from those Predator movies and I am 100% here for that.
Speaking of things I’m here for, may I present to you Jeremy “Mountain Man” Ebobisse.
Can I get a hell yeah? Clearly, Jebo spent his quarantine living in a log cabin up in the mountains with a pet grizzly bear and a cantankerous old gold miner named Roscoe, and I cannot tell you how much I love it. Keep growing the hair, Jebo. Keep growing the beard. We haven’t had a Mountain Man on the team since Nat Borchers retired. We already love you, but if you add giant, untamed hair and a beard down to your chest? You’ll be a club legend.
(Note to self: how have I never power ranked the Timbers by their hair? Fix this, immediately.)