Portland Timbers 2015 – Spring Training Begins

The Timbers held their first training session yesterday, with four more to follow in Portland before heading off to Tucson and the much warmer weather that should better suit getting into tip-top form before the regular season opener against Real Salt Lake.

So what’s changed and what remains the same?

What’s changed? 

  • Dairon Asprilla, a midfield/forward player from Colombia, that has strengths on both sides of the pitch.
  • Nat Borchers, the ever present red-headed bearded guy as a Center-back, from the aforementioned Salt Lake side.
  • Jeanderson (goes strictly by that name on the team roster) a left sided fullback from Brazil.
  • Adam Kwarasey, a goal keeper from Norway.
  • And a bevy of youngsters to include Nick Besler, (midfielder), Kharlton Belmar (forward), Seth Casipie (midfielder), Anthony Manning (defender), Andy Thoma (midfielder), and Christian Volesky (forward).
  • A bunch of players are gone that, in the words of others, didn’t perform…
  • As always, some players will be in camp, as free agents to see if they can get a contract signed between now and the start of the season.
  • How all these new players line up for the regular season, to include perhaps signing with Timbers 2 is unclear – we can speculate all we want but to be honest and fair no-one, outside of the close coaching staff and perhaps others in the Front Office really have an inkling on who goes where…
  • New Teams in MLS (New York City FC and Orlando FC)
  • Chivas USA is gone…
  • Kansas City and Houston are now in the Western Conference
  • Some new Head Coaches
  • The value of a team in the MLS Single Entity Business Model

What remains the same?

  • The avid supporters behind the Timbers and now Timbers 2
  • The Head Coach
  • The Collective Bargaining Agreement (for now)
  • NASL continues to get relegated, by MLS, and now USLPro towards FIFA League Division 3 status in MLS…
  • Possession with Purpose
  • Lack of Free Agency – see CBA above.
  • The same part-time/quasi full-time Referee status

Given all these things I don’t intend to speculate on any outcomes this early in the season – for now it’s simply a rundown of activities/events that may or may not influence the Timbers this year.

More important, I think, is this………….

  1. Caleb Porter acknowledged last year that he had never had a team perform so poorly in defending across such a wide breadth of games…
  2. Indeed, if you read these two articles I offered up on Stumptownfooty in October, you’ll know that Porter had to make some pretty heady changes in his overall attacking and defending scheme of play.
  3. Defense Wins Games
  4. Better Defending Leads to Better Attacking
  5. During the off-season Caleb Porter did acknowledge to me that those two articles well represented the tactical adjustments the team went through over the course of the season.

With that being offered – the team has injuries they need to deal with – they will and soon enough Diego Valeri and Will Johnson will start again… or at least be available to start again.

It’s a long……………………… season and it appears, this year, six teams make the playoffs… great – if you like the atmosphere of the playoffs.

All for now… Best, Chris

You can follow me on twitter @chrisgluckpwp

In case you missed it I also cover teams across the rest of MLS as well as the Barcley’s Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, and the UEFA Champions League here at Possession with Purpose.com.

Chris Gluck

Chris Gluck

I have been covering the Portland Timbers and Major League Soccer, as a community blogger/analyst for the Columbian Newspaper, since June, 2012. Since then my involvement in soccer analysis has expanded to include participating in the Regional Emmy Award Winning Soccer City PDX TV Show (Comcast Sports Northwest). My unique analytical approach has been published in Europe and presented at the World Conference on Science and Soccer 2014. I also appear regularly as a co-host on Rose City Soccer Show and the Yellowcarded Podcast. You can find my work on PossessionwithPurpose.com, PTFC Collective and Prost Amerika.

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