(The only downside: second-year Gbenga Arokoyo, expected to take over for retired Nat Borchers, was lost
for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.)
The crowning moment of preseason came when the Timbers beat Vancouver, 2-1, on the final day of the annual Portland tournament. The first goal by Diego Valeri followed a string of 15 consecutive passes.
Even some sloppy finishing -- the Timbers outshot the Whitecaps, 16-2 -- could not take away from the excitement of the new-look Timbers. (Only Miller and Blanco, who was moving his family to Portland, were missing.)
"Three-and-a-half weeks in," said Porter, "we look pretty damn good. We look pretty damn good. We look as good as we’ve ever looked. You know, and so that’s exciting."
Who's in ...
GOALKEEPERS: Kendall McIntosh (T2, USL Signing). DEFENDERS: Rennico Clarke (T2, USL Signing), Marco Farfan (Timbers 2, Homegrown), Chance Myers (Sporting KC, MLS Free Agent), Roy Miller (Saprissa/CRC, Transfer). MIDFIELDERS: Victor Arboleda (T2, USL Signing), Dairon Asprilla (Millonarios/COL, Loan Expired), Sebastian Blanco (San Lorenzo/ARG, Transfer), Daniel Guzman (Saprissa/CRC, Transfer), Lawrence Olum (Sporting KC, Trade). FORWARDS: Jeremy Ebobisse (Duke Univ., SuperDraft).
Who's out ...
GOALKEEPERS: none. DEFENDERS: Nat Borchers (Retired), Chris Klute, *Taylor Peay, Jermaine Taylor (Minnesota United, Free Agent), Steven Taylor, Andy Thoma. MIDFIELDERS: Nick Besler (Real Monarchs, Free Agent), Ned Grabavoy (Retired), Jack Jewsbury (Retired). FORWARDS: Neco Brett, Lucas Melano (Belgrano, Loan), Ben Polk (Orlando City B, Free Agent).
*Portland owns MLS rights.
First five games ...
March 3 -- Minnesota United
March 12 -- at LA Galaxy
March 18 -- Houston Dynamo
March 25 -- at Columbus Crew
April 2 -- New England Revolution