[Update] Thanks, Toronto FC, for clearing up some of this offseason's dates. We now have precise dates for the Re-Entry Draft, Superdraft, and Superdraft Combine, and have added the opening of the trade window (12/8) and the Superdraft Carribean Combine.
[Update] Turns out Toronto's release was not 100% accurate. Thankfully, MLS put out their own, hopefully correct, list of dates.
There is still plenty of soccer to be played in November. Granted, none of it involves the Timbers, but you have to keep occupied somehow, right?
11/8 - MLS Cup Quarterfinals Leg 2, New York Red Bulls at D.C. United 11/9 - MLS Cup Quarterfinals Leg 2, Columbus Crew at New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake at LA Galaxy 11/10 - MLS Cup Quarterfinals Leg 2, FC Dallas at Seattle Sounders
11/20 - Awards Finalists Announced
11/23 - MLS Cup Semifinals Leg 1
11/24 - Rookie of the Year and Fair Play awards announced
11/25 - Defender of the Year and Referee of the Year awards announced
11/29 - MLS Cup Semifinals Leg 2
11/30 - MLS Cup Semifinals Leg 2
This month things start to heat up again for the Timbers. Everybody knows that MLS has more player acquisition methods than you can shake a stick at and a bevy of them will come into play in December. Starting with a chance to pick up a player in the still-unconfirmed dispersal draft of Chivas USA's players at the start of the month, then a chance to lose up to two players in the expansion draft just three days after the MLS Cup Final, and finishing off the month with the Re-Entry draft.
Despite the hype around the first two of those prospects, the third could well be the most impactful, given the success that some teams had with players coming out of the 2013 Re-Entry draft. Steve Zakuani may have been a bust for the Timbers, but Sean Franklin and Bobby Boswell were both picked up by D.C. United and both were major contributors to their Eastern Conference winning side. Similarly, players like Kenny Cooper, Chad Marshall, and David Horst were all traded prior to the draft and went on to play significant roles in the 2014 season.
12/1 - Best XI announced, dispersal draft rumored
12/2 - Coach of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year awards announced
12/3 - Goalkeeper of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards announced
12/4 - Goal of the Year, Save of the Year, and Most Valuable Player awards announced
12/7 - MLS Cup Final
[Update] 12/10 - Orlando City FC and New York City FC expansion draft, MLS Waiver Draft
[Update] 12/12 - MLS Re-Entry Draft Phase One
[Update] 12/18 - MLS Re-Entry Draft Phase Two
While January does not quite have as many specific dates packed into it as December, it should still be a pretty busy month in the buildup to the Superdraft, which will happen sometime during the NSCAA Convention. The Timbers hold picks 5, 24, 32, 34, and 53 this year,although they may have to cede one of their second round picks to Seattle in compensation for the rights to Mikael Silvestre.
The number five pick had Caleb Porter sounding excited in his end of the year press conference last week and he confirmed that, while he will be overseas scouting talent with Gavin Wilkinson, the Timbers' assistant coaches will be spending their time looking at the college talent.
This is also the time of year when the rumors surrounding foreign signings and in-league trades should be flying. Particularly with a new collective bargaining agreement on the way, there should be plenty of rumors from overseas to keep us occupied until February, when the squads will once again report for duty.
[Update] 1/2 - 1/5 - MLS Superdraft Carribean Combine
[Update] 1/9 - 1/13 - MLS Superdraft Combine
[Update] 1/15 - MLS Superdraft
What are you most looking forward to in the offseason? Is there anything else we should be including on the calendar? Let us know in the comments.