Portland Timbers 2 has been a team for the better part of a month, but so far we still only know six of the team's projected fourteen players. Back in the middle of February we played "Identify the Portland Timbers 2 Players" and did fairly well at it, eventually figuring out who a majority of the team's trialists were.
Now, however, there have been some changes to the players on hand and it is time to take another look at who T2 has in camp.
The Signed Players
T2's six players already signed to contract with the club, Kharlton Belmar, Santiago Biglieri, Rennico Clark, Harrison Delbridge, Steven Evans, and Brent Richards, are all in camp and accounted for.
At Wednesday's training session, all six showed well and would not appear out of place playing with the Timbers' first team.
Biglieri, the senior-most player on the team at 29 years old, was perhaps the most interesting player to watch in training, showing off some inventive playmaking and a knack for a well-struck volley.
The Unsigned Players
Still with T2
This group were with the team from early on in the preseason and have stuck around for the duration. These will probably be the group of players that the next round of signings to the T2 roster come from.
Seth Casiple (CM, RM): The last overall pick in the 2015 MLS Superdraft never had a look with the Timbers' first team, but he has stuck around this long with T2. A well regarded player in the college ranks, Casiple has shown some flair playing in the center of the pitch for T2. At practice on Wednesday, Casiple managed an impressive aerial finish, redirecting a cross into the back of the net after a hard run out of the midfield in the team's short-field game.
Blair Gavin (CM, RB): Gavin made several appearances with the first team during the Timbers' preseason as they worked through a crazy injury crisis. Although he was not a world-beater with the first-team group, Gavin also did not stick out and looks likely to be a veteran signing, alongside Biglieri, that provides the bedrock for this T2 side that will see players moving in and out of the starting XI regularly.
Justin Luthy (GK): The Timbers' long-time 4th keeper is one of only two net-minders in camp with T2 and seem sure to sign on with the team.
Tim Payne (LM, CM): Still fresh from his abortive stint in England where he was hampered by work permit issues after signing with Blackburn Rovers of the English Championship, Payne remains a young, versatile midfielder with international experience, even if it is with New Zealand. At training, Payne's ability to pick out a pass to split the defense has regularly been on display and he certainly seems like a player that could grow into a first team signing.
Fatawu Safiu (CM, RM, LM): Watching Safiu play, one is immediately reminded of Kalif Alhassan: an inventive player who sees the game in a unique way and is not afraid to try things, but also one who needs to become a more complete player before being a true first-team prospect. Of course, Safiu is around four years younger than Alhassan now, so the Timbers are getting a second chance of sorts with this probable signing.
Rundell Winchester (F, LM): Like Gavin, Winchester showed well in his lone appearance with the first team in preseason. Unlike Gavin, Winchester is still a very young player with international experience with Trinidad and Tobago.
Daniel Withrow (GK): A former Columbus Crew and MLS pool goalkeeper, Withrow seems like a probable signing for T2 especially given that he is one of only two keepers still with the team in training.
Injured Guy: There is one player still around who we have yet to identify from the original pool. Of course, this guy has been out injured since shortly after the start of the T2 preseason, so it is difficult to pin down who he is, where he plays, or if the team are seriously considering him for a roster spot.
Matt Rose (LB, LM): The Timbers' U-23s fullback was not with the team at the start of camp and is a relatively recent arrival.
T2 also have another pair of players with the team that are new arrivals who appear to be a fullback and a defensive midfielder. Their identities are as of yet unknown to me.
No Longer on Trial
A number of players who were with T2 at the start of the team's preseason were no longer in training this week.
Daniel Guzman Jr, Lance Parker, Maikon Orellana, Euller Rodrigues, Carlos Small, and Christian Volesky are all players that were identified and are no longer with the team. There were also several other players who were never identified and who are no longer with the team.