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Six Degrees: Five Favorite CONCACAFers (non-American)

San Jose Earthquakes v Portland Timbers

Not much going on in Timberdom this week, so let’s pull out our latest silly quarantine filler gimmick, my Five Favorite Timbers from each FIFA confederation. This time, it’s non-American CONCACAFers. (Who do you think’s gonna win: Jamaica or Costa Rica?)

6) First ground rule: as with all my Five Favorite columns, this is not about which players are best, it’s about which players I liked best. You don’t have to be good to make these lists, I just have to like you.

Second ground rule: here’s how I’ll organize the columns.

  • CONCACAF (USA only) Already did this one and here’s the link.
  • CONCACAF (non-USA)
  • CONMEBOL (South America)
  • CAF (Africa)
  • UEFA (Europe)
  • AFC (Asia)
  • OFC (Oceania)

There’s a chance I’ll have to combine AFC and OFC, as there really haven’t been a lot of Timbers from those confederations. (If you know of some obscure folks that could fill out those lists, lemme know.)

Third ground rule: I’m going to choose a player’s confederation based on where they grew up. Ryan Johnson was born in Jamaica and played for the Jamaican National Team, but he grew up in Massachusetts, so I’d put him on my CONCACAF (USA) team. Diego Chara is an American citizen, but he grew up in Colombia, so I’d put him on my CONMEBOL team.

Fourth ground rule: as I said before, this is not about which players are best, it’s about which players I like best. You don’t have to be good to make these Five Fave lists, I just have to like you.

Now, let’s get to it. My Five Favorite Timbers from CONCACAF (non-USA).

5) My fifth favorite non-American CONCACAFer is Andres Flores.

I like players who can play multiple positions. I like players who have worked their way up from lower leagues. I like players from small, underrepresented nations. I like players who don’t seem quite as talented as others, so you know they’re still on the roster because they’re smart, they bust their ass in practice, they’re a good teammate, and they help the team’s overall chemistry. Lastly, I like players who put out a really strong “I’m just a good dude” vibe. Andres Flores meets all these criteria and he’s number five on my list.

SOCCER: MAY 10 MLS - Portland Timbers at Vancouver Whitecaps Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

4) My fourth favorite non-American CONCACAFer is Donovan Ricketts.

This is a weird one, because to be honest, Ricketts was never all that charismatic. Kind of quiet and shy, really. But I’m putting him here at number five because, damnation, was he fun to root for in 2013. He was an absolute beast that year, stopping so many unstoppable shots, saving the Timbers so many points. He was a joy to root for and that earns him a spot on this list, despite his shy, quiet nature.

3) My third favorite non-American CONCACAFer is Roy Miller.

Roy was only on the team a couple years and was never a star. He was an occasional injury replacement at center back and maybe a little left back, too, if I remember correctly. He was a little older, on the down slope of his career, so if this was a list of best players, he wouldn’t make. But on a list of favorite players, he’s definitely in, because he was such an awesome guy. Seriously, I never saw a single thing about Roy Miller that didn’t make me like him. His interviews were great, the occasional practice videos we’d see online made him look great, his interactions with teammates, his interactions with folks around town, everything about Roy was awesome. I wish he had come to the Timbers earlier in his career.

MLS Soccer - Los Angeles Galaxy v Portland Timbers Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images

2) My second favorite non-American CONCACAFer is Alvas Powell.

Alvas grew up in a tiny little town in Jamaica, played as a teenager for some club called Portmore United, and arrived in Portland when he was 19 years old. During his six years here, we literally got to watch him turn from a boy into a man. He was quiet and shy and didn’t give the best interviews, but he had a sweetness to him that I always enjoyed. Not enough for you? Here’s a picture of him holding a chicken. Check and mate.

1) My favorite non-American CONCACAFer is Rodney Freaking Wallace.

Is there anyone who didn’t love Rodney? The guy went all-out, non-stop for 90 minutes every game, he had great bug-eyed facial expressions, and he scored the winning goal in the 2015 MLS Cup. Seriously, if you ever meet someone who didn’t love Rodney Freaking Wallace, be very, very suspicious of that person. Something ain’t right with them.

Honorable mentions go out to 2013 Will Johnson (Canada), Darren Mattocks and Lovel Palmer (both Jamaica), and Julio Cascante, Marvin Loria, and David Guzman (all Costa Rica). Sorry, fellas. You were close.