Thursday’s SuperDraft proved to be another opportunity for the Portland Timbers to throw the deck chairs overboard and fish for new furniture. In the span of two months, the team has jettisoned more than a third of last year’s roster. It has signed a designated player from Argentina while ending its brief romance with Scotland. It has brought more attack and bite into the midfield while removing some of the flotsam from the backline. It has used almost every conceivable, wacky MLS rule to acquire and release players and the Monopoly money the league uses as currency.It has been a Rostergeddon that lives up to the Rostergeddon name.
The question that some are asking is whether it is over. The team as it currently stands on paper still has needs — every MLS team does, but especially one that was so abysmal last season. The roster, while more balanced than it was before the SuperDraft, is still weighted toward the front. The backline has some parts in the center but the outside remains dangerously thin. The attack doesn’t have a player who is going to knock in 15 goals so unless one is acquired it is going to have to be a team that scores goals by committee. The midfield has a bunch of parts that may or may not fit together.
So, can we expect a few more big changes? I don’t think so. There will be the announcement of a new defender in the coming days. Hopefully this is a quality player who brings some stability to either of the outside back positions. These positions have been neglected the past couple of offseasons and as a result the team has had to see midseason replacements (see Mike Chabala, Steven Smith). Hopefully this is the year where the backline has a full training camp to work together. Continuity in the back. That would be nice.
Beyond that, there might be some tweaking at the edges and if the coveted allocation spot isn’t used on the new defender I suppose we could see another big name enter the fray before the end of the January transfer window. But someone like Nigel Reo-Coker or the Derby Pele? Those days are probably over.
The parts have largely been assembled. Now it is time to see how they operate together.