As you know I was invited to attend the press conference today where Gavin Wilkinson and John Spencer announced their first four signings for the MLS Portland Timbers. It's been an exciting morning as we finally have players to associate with the franchise. Turns out I was correct in my prediction that 4 players would be announced today. Anything more would have diluted the focus on each individual. Prior to the press conference the signings of Pore and Cronin were spoiled as we watched their girlfriends/wives get escorted to their seats.
Here was the order:
- Bright Dike: Drafted 12th overall by MLS side Columbus Crew in the 2010 Super Draft. Was released from the team after failing to earn a spot during training camp. He is a powerful forward with great pace who managed to score 10 goals for the Timbers this season.
- Steve Cronin: Two outstanding seasons in the books for the Portland Timbers. He has MLS experience playing for the LA Galaxy and DC United. I don't think he will be our starter next year, but he will be a solid back up keeper.
- Ryan Pore: 25 goals scored for the Timbers after two seasons. A versatile player capable of playing on the wings, inside, or at forward. Pore is hungry for a return to MLS after a short stint with the Kansas City Wizards.
- Eddie Johnson
I was very surprised by the signing of Eddie Johnson from the Austin Aztex. He is an English player that has found his form with Austin after playing over 120 games in Europe. Starting out in the Man United Academy program, Johnson was loaned out to clubs over the years and experienced moderate success. This season he scored 14 goals in 26 games, narrowly losing to Ryan Pore's 15 in the Golden Boot race. Coach Spencer firmly believes in Johnson's ability to elevate his game to the next level and have a profound impact in MLS.
Expect more player signings in 2-3 weeks.