The Major League Soccer SuperDraft is once again upon us; starting at 9:00 am this morning, the teams of MLS will divvy up the country's best young talent not yet claimed as homegrown players. The Portland Timbers, who have made just three picks in the first two rounds over the last two years (only three of the other eighteen teams in MLS made fewer), hold picks 17, 26, 36, 39, 71, and 73 this year and will be looking to bring in some players with a high upside.
Earlier this week, Caleb Porter revealed some of the Timbers' draft strategy in an interview with the Oregonian's Jamie Goldberg:
"We're at a point where we have an experienced and talented team, so we don't need to get a guy that needs to step in and start immediately. We want to get the best three players that we can find with our three picks. We're hoping to get three players that eventually will be starters for us whether now or three years down the road."
The speculation surrounding the Timbers' picks has trended toward the team picking former Akron midfielder/forward Aodhan Quinn, but strong cases have been made for centerback Kevin Cope, fullback Marco Franco, and forward Reinaldo Brenes as well.
No. 17: Schillo Tshuma
No. 26: Taylor Peay
No. 36: Aaron Long
(Picks No. 39, 71, and 73 will be made via conference call on Tuesday, 1/21.)
So who will the Timbers pick? Feel free to speculate and chat about the draft in the comments below.