The second round of the MLS Re-entry Draft is coming up quickly tomorrow and there are still plenty of players ready for selection. The Portland Timbers do not have a strong history of taking players out of the Re-entry Draft -- Steve Zakuani in the first round in 2013 is the team's only selection to date -- but there are still plenty of intriguing prospects available, particularly now that teams are no longer able to sign or trade their own players that are draft-elligible.
Chris already took a quick look at several of the potential prospects available in the Re-entry Draft yesterday as he examined the Timbers' offseason acquisition strategy, but let's take a more broad look at the 2015 draft class and see who is still available.
Joe Bendik, Josh Ford, Tally Hall, Chris Konopka, Matt Lampson, Brian Perk, Donovan Ricketts, Paolo Tornaghi
Kevin Alston, Jalil Anibaba, Jeb Brovsky, Greg Cochrane, Leonardo Gonzalez, Tony Lochhead, Tommy Meyer, Roy Miller, Lovel Palmer, Chris Schuler, Jordan Stewart, Jermaine Taylor, Anthony Wallace, Kwame Watson-Siriboe
Carlos Alvarez, Tony Cascio, Danny Cruz, Andy Dorman, Michael Farfan, Fred, Jeremy Hall, Jackson, Alex Lopez, Michel, Michael Nanchoff, Mauro Rosales, Matt Watson
Jairo Arrieta, Bright Dike, Robbie Findley, Mike Fucito, Chandler Hoffman, Antoine Hoppenot, Jason Johnson, Danny Mwanga, Charlie Rugg, Vicente Sanchez, Gabriel Torres
A quick look through the players remaining in the eligible group reveals a number of familiar faces; Bendik, Ricketts, Palmer, Wallace, Hall, Nanchoff, Dike, Findley, Fucito, and Mwanga all spent at least a day with their rights held by the Timbers, and the majority of them made at least one appearance for the team. That group comprises over a fifth of the players available in the upcoming draft.
Still, who a player took to the field for previously does not matter as much as who they take the field for next (although there are exceptions), so let's take a look at another three of these players who could potentially make an impact for the Timbers in 2015.
1. Jeremy Hall
Part of John Spencer's 2011 Timbers side, Hall, 27, has bounced around MLS since his initial selection by the Timbers in the expansion draft, playing for FC Dallas, Toronto FC, and the New England Revolution before finding himself in the Re-entry Draft. A strong athlete capable of playing as a wide midfielder or fullback on the right side of the pitch, Hall has been a consistent player for his teams over the last four years since being traded away from the Timbers for Eric Alexander. While he would not be considered a strong challenger at either spot, Hall's flexibility could be a potential asset to the Timbers when it becomes time for the CONCACAF Champions' League, particularly if the team wants to experiment with moving Taylor Peay into the center of the defense.
2. Kevin Alston
Alston, 27, has proven to be a smart and reliable defender for the New England Revolution over the course of his seven years in the league, during which he made 148 appearances for the Revs, mostly at left back or center back. Outside of 2010 and 2011, New England has had one of the most consistent defenses in the Eastern Conference with Alston playing a major role. With doubts about the return of Norberto Paparatto and nobody on the roster to push new arrival Chris Klute for the starting spot at left back, Alston could bring some flexibility to the back line, something that the Timbers will almost certainly need in 2016.
3. Chris Konopka
While there are other intriguing prospect out there at keeper, the well traveled Konopka seems like a good potential fit for the Timbers as a backup for Adam Kwarasey in the 18. With Jake Gleeson set to continue getting minutes with T2, the Timbers will need someone both experienced and willing to take a back seat to the team's No. 1 keeper and Konopka looks like he might just fit the bill. In 2015 Konopka stepped up for Toronto FC, manning the posts for the team's first ever successful run into the MLS playoffs after taking over the starting spot from Joe Bendik midway through the season and posting a 1.48 GAA, bettering Bendik's 2.08 GAA.
Who do you think would be a good pickup for the Portland Timbers in the second round of the Re-entry Draft?