Season Preview: Portland Timbers

[ 0 ] February 13, 2014 |
RSLvPor

The Portland Timbers had a great year in 2013. Can Caleb Porter’s side take the next step in 2014?

The Portland Timbers outperformed all expectations last season. Caleb Porter’s side got the first seed in the Western Conference and made it to the Western Conference Finals.

The Goal

Since they won the conference and made a conference final in 2013, the next step is clearly to win a trophy of some sort this season.

Key Acquisitions

  • Gaston Fernandez acquired from Argentina
  • Norberto Papparatto acquired from Argentina
  • Steve Zakuani acquired via Re-Entry Stage 1
  • Jorge Villafana acquired from Chivas USA via trade

Key Departures

  • David Horst traded to Houston
  • Andrew Jean-Baptiste traded to Chivas USA
  • Sal Zizzo traded to Sporting KC

Remaining Issues

On paper, this Portland squad got even stronger after an incredible season. The front office even improved its stadium deal in the off-season. Portland is flying high right now.

Predictions

Things went really well for Portland last season. I expect some regression as the ball probably won’t bounce Portland’s way quite as often this season. Also, the side is adding CCL to its schedule, which will have an impact. Finally, Portland caught teams by surprise last season. This year that won’t be the case, and that can make a difference. Just ask RSL circa 2011.

I expect Portland will do well, but not as well (points-wise) as in 2013. Portland will make the playoffs and be among the top 3 spots in the West. The side won’t make it to MLS Cup, and will lose more than the 5 matches it lost during 2013. Portland will advance to the quarterfinals of CCL but end 2014 without a trophy.

Just for Laughs

Merritt Paulson will get into at least 3 twitter feuds during the season.

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