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Ryan Johnson is big catch for reshaped Timbers
by Paul Kennedy, December 12th, 2012 6:28PM

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TAGS:  mls, portland timbers, toronto fc

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[MLS TRANSACTIONS] The three months that Caleb Porter has had since he announced he would leave the University of Akron for the Portland Timbers this month certainly gave him plenty of time to brainstorm how he'd like to shake up the MLS club. He hasn't officially begun his job, and the Timbers have made five deals in the first 10 days of the new trade season.

The latest deal brings Jamaican forward Ryan Johnson from Toronto FC, giving the Timbers one of MLS's most underrated strikers -- not to mention a much less inexpensive option up front than Scotsman Kris Boyd, who was a major disappointment in 2012 when Portland finished eighth in the Western Conference with a 8-16-10 record.

Portland acquired Johnson along with Serbian-born goalie Milos Kocic from Toronto FC in exchange for the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, among other things.

Johnson, 28, returns to the Pacific Northwest, where he starred at Oregon State, after six seasons in MLS with Real Salt Lake (2006), Chicago (2006), San Jose (2008-11) and Toronto FC (2011-12).

Johnson was Toronto FC’s second-leading scorer in 2012 with seven goals and tied for the club lead with five assists. He also scored five games to lead Toronto FC to the 2011-12 Concacaf Champions League semifinals and won the George Gross Memorial Trophy as the best player in the 2012  Amway Canadian Championship.

“After weighing our immediate needs and evaluating the college pool, we felt it was in the club’s best interest to give up a draft pick to secure a talented goal-scorer and an experienced player like Ryan,” said Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson said in a statement. “He adds another weapon to our attacking group and can create goals in a number of ways. He also offers versatility in a number of positions in either a three- or two-front system.”

Johnson is a starter on the Jamaican national team that will play in the 2013 Hexagonal.

Portland moves:
IN:
Ryan Johnson from Toronto FC.
Milos Kocic from Toronto FC.
Will Johnson from Real Salt Lake.
Michael Harrington, from Sporting KC.
Homegrown rights to Bryan Gallego from New York.
Allocation money from New York.
Allocation money from Houston.

OUT:
Eric Brunner, to Houston.
Kosuke Kimura, traded to New York.
Joe Bendik to Toronto FC.
Lovel Palmer, option declined.
Steve Purdy, option declined.
Steven Smith, option declined.
Freddie Braun, waived
Charles Renken, waived.
Ian Hogg, waived.
First-round pick in 2013 MLS Draft to Toronto FC.
Second-round pick in 2013 SuperDraft to New York.
Allocation money to Sporting KC
Allocation money to Real Salt Lake.
Allocation money to Toronto FC.

Portland roster:
Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts, Jake Gleeson, Milos Kocic.
Defenders: David Horst, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Hanyer Mosquera, Ryan Kawulok, Rodney Wallace, Futty Danso, Chris Taylor, Michael Harrington
Midfielders: Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury, Darlington Nagbe, Franck Songo’o, Eric Alexander, Kalif Alhassan, Sal Zizzo, Will Johnson,
Forwards: Kris Boyd, Sebastian Rincon, Bright Dike, Brent Richards, Ryan Johnson.



3 comments
  1. Paul Lorinczi
    commented on: December 13, 2012 at 8:07 a.m.
    How is Ryan Johnson underrated? His shot to goal ratio "is turrible" (using your best Charles Barkley imitation)
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: December 13, 2012 at 11:11 a.m.
    Ryan Johnson has athleticism, speed, and like his paisan Dane Richards, a below average soccer IQ...average player at best.
  1. George Gorecki
    commented on: December 13, 2012 at 11:18 a.m.
    Ryan Johnson is underrated? This makes me giggle. The guy has scored 27 goals in 152 MLS matches. "Underachiever" would be a more apt description. At 28 years of age, he's not going to get better than he already is. Hell, Kris Boyd's 7 goals in 26 matches last year for Portland was a better strike rate.

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