It's almost the beginning of March and the Timbers have most of their roster figured out.
Let's take a look at what the team currently possesses, and needs, as the preseason progresses.
-Part 2 will look at some intriguing loan and/or free agent signings whom I believe the Timbers front office should take a look at signing.
Here's the roster from the Team website:
*Cameron Knowles is inactive, but I expect him to be on the roster.
*Keita remains a question mark because I thought he was on loan to an Indian league team?
*Where's Visser- the backup goalkeepr signed from the U-23 team from last year?
-Forwards: This team is clearly in need of 2 additional Forwards. Suzuki is no longer a dangerous forward at his age. I thought he was an incredibly crafty outside winger last year, either to start for 60 minutes, or to come off the bench at the same 60-70 minute mark.
-Midfielders: We are set. 8 (possibly 9) midfielders. And, importantly, Farber & Pore are coming back. Would like to see Nimo on loan again, but not sure if Real Salt Lake has him in their plans, especially after they picked a 2nd crafty Timbers U-23 winger in the recent MLS Draft.
-Defenders: We need an additional defender. Ian Joy is a solid pro and probably our starting left-back. But even assuming Knowles and S.C.O.T. Thompson (if re-signed?) make the Roster, that's only 7 defenders- and I'd feel more comfortable with a backup at each position.
*To solve the extra defender problem: I propose PTFC sign former Timber, Mike Randolph.
The kid has serious game- he played well for PTFC and the Galaxy, even earning a National Team Camp call-up. He'd probably adjust well being back with his former club. He's playing PDL right now in L.A., so he's a free agent. He's also a left-footer with speed to kill, who can also provide cover at left midfield. Is he on Gavin's radar? Who knows, but he should be.
-Goalkeeper: I'd like to see Visser officially on the Roster. Cronin's our guy right now. If something happens to one of my favorite Timbers of '09, then we can loan somebody from MLS in a pinch. But why waste salary space if it's not essential. One backup is plenty.
There you have it. Plenty of midfielders with pace and bite, solid goalkeeping, a sturdy base of defenders (KEEL!), but lacking much firepower up front.
I'm interested to see what Gavin chooses as the last pieces of his Roster puzzle.
You guys like the current roster? Ideas for people Gavin should give a look? Happy to see so many carryovers from last years Division-winning squad?
March 11 waits...