David Horst, an original member of the MLS version of the Portland Timbers, had his 2014 contract option declined by the club last week. He played 39 games over three injury-plagued seasons.
2012 Rank: 5
Horst started the 2013 season in recovery mode, having undergone knee surgery in October 2012. We ranked him at no. 5 for the 2012 season after he was among the club's top performers and even captained the team in its final game. He missed the first three games of the year before debuting in Portland's 2-2 draw at Colorado Rapids on March 30. Horst started again on April 6 against Houston Dynamo before suffering a displaced tibial plateau feature in his right leg in the 18th minute. That broken leg kept the then 27-year-old out nearly five months. A return to action came in August in the reserves and included five games before he suffered another knee injury in October. In the end, Horst had no real impact on the season, playing just 108 minutes over two regular season games. His rank as high as 20, considering he only played twice, comes more from his popularity and the level he likely would have reached had his broken leg not ended his Timbers career in April.
Our potential rankings were voted on before the Timbers' announcement last week that included Horst among those whose 2014 contract option was declined. Three years after he moved to Portland from Real Salt Lake via the Expansion Draft, Horst moves on as one of the more popular but more frequently injured players in the club's short MLS history. His departure, along with that of Andrew Jean-Baptiste in last week's trade with Chivas USA introduces the possibility of an entirely a new look to the Timbers' back line in the season to come.