Saturday, October 16, 2010

Portland Timbers: Building a MLS roster

With Portland's loss to Vancouver (once again.... ~sigh~) in the playoffs, our 10 year saga in division 2 football comes to an end. We have had some strong teams over the years, but our performance during the playoffs was always lacking. With the exception of 2 Commissioner's Cups (2004, 2009) for having the best regular season record and a Premier Development League Championship (2010), the Timber's trophy case is empty. After last years exit in the playoffs, everyone felt this could be our breakthrough year. Winning a title would have been the ultimate "Thank You" message for all the passionate and patient fans that have joined the club over the years. Unfortunately our dominance over Vancouver during the regular season did not carry over into the first leg match in Burnaby. A 0-2 loss was to difficult to overcome and despite a dominant performance at Merlo Field, winning 1-0 was not enough.

So with that we look to next year. We have just over 5 months to construct a team capable of reaching the MLS playoffs. It's the coaching staff's opinion that in our first year, playoffs is a daunting yet attainable goal, any advancement from there would just be icing on the cake.

So how do you build a MLS roster? Players will come from 4 main sources.
  1. Current USSF D-2 Timbers
  2. 2010 MLS Expansion Draft
  3. 2011 MLS Super Draft
  4. Outside Signings (International, Designated Players)
Please check back for dedicated posts on each of these player sources. On Tuesday morning the Portland Timbers FO will be having a press conference to announce their first player signings. I could potentially be at this announcement (will find out Monday) and I'll try to snap some photos and video for you. I expect the players to be signed here to fall into category 1. I'd be surprised if any new international signings were announced this early. I'll be providing my top choices prior to the presser. Stay Tuned!

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