Caleb Porter has obviously heard the chatter. Throughout the offseason, any discussion regarding the future of the Portland Timbers has inevitably turned towards Darlington Nagbe. Just over a year removed from winning an MLS Cup, the Timbers' offseason has centered around the potential of losing a player that remains one of the team's biggest pieces.
According to SI.com's Grant Wahl, Major League Soccer is set to give teams $400,000 of targeted allocation money each in addition to the $800,000 that had previously been announced last year. Since the cash-infusion comes in the form of TAM it will need to be used by teams to bring in or retain players whose salaries are over the designated player threshold.
There is an expansion draft coming up and with less than a week until the end of the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs, we will know soon who the Portland Timbers — and the rest of Major League Soccer — are protecting. However, with eleven players to be protected it is still far from clear who the Timbers will take off the table, so let's take a look at the roster and see just who might be on Gavin Wilkinson's list to be spared from the reach of Minnesota United and Atlanta United.
The Portland Timbers are back in the Rose City and set to take on their final Eastern Conference opponents of the season, the Philadelphia Union. With the Timbers still just above the red line it is vital that thy keep all three points from this match.
Coming off a tough, mid-week trip to Costa Rica where the Timbers lost 4-2 to Deportivo Saprissa on Wednesday, Portland must bounce back quickly against a rested Union side.
This time of year any three points are three big points.
But Saturday night's three points were absolutely imperative. The Portland Timbers have been as hapless on the road in 2016 as they have been stellar at home. And with six games remaining coming into Saturday evening -- three home and three away -- the Timbers were in a position in which they needed to be close to perfect at Providence Park is they want to make the playoffs.
The Portland Timbers have returned home after last weekend's loss to the league leaders, FC Dallas, and are set to play host to another one of the top teams in the West as Real Salt Lake come to town. In two meetings this year the Timbers and RSL have tied twice, both ending 2-2, but shared points will not do for the Timbers this time as they need to set the pace in the run in to the playoffs.
The Portland Timbers are headed into the mountains today to take on Real Salt Lake. The Utah side has been flying high this year and one third of the way through the season are still unbeaten at Rio Tinto, so expect a hard fought match as the Timbers look to extend their current unbeaten run to four games in MLS play.
The Copa America Centenario kicks off today as the United States Men's National Team take on the Colombian National Team in the tournament opener. Fans of the Portland Timbers should be plenty excited going into this match following the growing contributions of Darlington Nagbe to the USMNT, including a goal and an assist in the US's two warm up matches for the Copa.
The Portland Timbers come up against the worst in the East today as they travel to the Windy City and take on the Chicago Fire. However, even the least place Fire are no pushovers and the Timbers will need to come correct if they want to pick up their first road win of the season.
With Darlington Nagbe out and Fanendo Adi questionable, will the Timbers be able to break down a stout Fire defense?
Just as we saw on Wednesday night with the United States National Team, Darlington Nagbe can have a tremendous effect on the game. Since the Portland Timbers took off last year on their run to the cup, Nagbe has been one of the most influential players in Major League Soccer, pulling the strings in the midfield, taking on opponents, and combining with his teammates to create numerous dangerous opportunities.
Darlington Nagbe may not have been a part of the U.S. Men's National Team's most recent squads, but head coach Jurgen Klinsmann insists that the Portland Timbers midfielder is far from finished on the international level.
In recent months, rumors have swirled regarding Nagbe's international future.
The USMNT hosts Costa Rica, with the hopes of getting 3 points in their quest to advance to the Quarterfinals. The amtch kicks off at 5:00 p.m. PT on FS1. This is your place for scores, highlights, updates and analysis.
USMNT (FIFA Rank 31) v Costa Rica (23) What to Watch For:
The USMNT hosts Costa Rica followed by Colombia v Paraguay as Copa America Centenario enters the second round of games. All sixteen teams have played a feeling out game, now is the time to survive and advance to the Quarterfinals. This is your Sounder at Heart Gamethread, What to Watch For and How to Watch
USMNT (FIFA Rank 31) v Costa Rica (23) What to Watch For:
Para Estados Unidos, abrir el torneo de la Copa América Centenario 2016 contra un equipo como Colombia fue desde el dia del sorteo de los grupos el febrero pasado un reto demasiado alto al que Jurgen KLINSMANN, el entrenador de la selección norteamericana, no ha podido encarar ni siquiera a su mínimia expectativa.
Noteworthy links from Stumptown and the rest of the web on 6/06/16.
From the Wide World of Soccer:
Massaging the numbers of MLS operations. Money, money, money, business, business, business, synergy, growth, commitment to fan experience, revenue projections. I think with that type of language, I'm positioning myself as a straight shooter with management potential.
14 goals so far this season and 5 more matches to add to the total. Yeah, he's had a pretty good season in 2016. Thank you, Fanendo!Portland Timbers For a look back at match highlights and more thoughts about the...
While the Portland Timbers have struggled on the road, they've been fabulous at home. Portland battled a game Real Salt Lake side in a very intense match at Providence Park, and they were able to make a Fanendo Adi 12th minute strike stand up for the victory in front of their 100th consecutive sell out crowd.
We have complete player ratings from the Portland Timbers 4 to 2 win over the Seattle Sounders FC from earlier this week. Included in this are scores for every Portland Timbers player that appeared in the match, ratings for the offense, defense and coaches, and a mark for the opponent and officials.
Jake Gleeson has really taken over the Timbers number 1 goalkeeping spot and his confidence has been soaring over the weeks. We saw a very confident Jake this afternoon and the results have followed.Jennifer Kesgard, community blogger For a look...
I'm sure that Jake Gleeson would have liked a better result after effectively earning the Timbers' starting goalkeeper job and seeing his main competition transferred away. Unfortunately, the first 12 minutes are ones that I'm sure he'd love to have...
We have complete player evaluations from the Portland Timbers' significant 3 to 1 win over the Seattle Sounders from back on July 17, 2016 at Providence Park. Included are marks for each Timbers player that appeared, plus marks for coaches, offense, defense, opponent and officials.
With a huge road trip completed, the Portland Timbers were hoping to get off to a good start on their three match homestand. While they were able to extend their unbeaten streak to 8 with a 1 all draw with the Montreal Impact, the Timbers had plenty of chances to take the full points and they weren't able to take advantage.
The Euros are still grinding on as the group stages wrap up, but the main event today for most of us can only be one thing: the United States vs. Argentina in the semifinals of the Copa America.
With the greatest player in the world, Lionel Messi (Sorry, Christiano Ronoldo), on one side — plus some other pretty good players — and a depleted but organized USA on the other, tonight's match has all the makings of a slaughter.
Did the USMNT see a generational change in the second half against Ecuador? Today's starting lineup for the final Copa America warm-up match against Bolivia might be a clue. This is your Sounder at Heart Gamethread, What to Watch For and How to Watch
The United States Men's National Team travels to Kansas City to play in their final tune-up match before Copa America kicks off on Friday against Colombia in Santa Clara, California.
Just one year ago, the U.S. Men's National Team seemed like a dream for Darlington Nagbe. Still yet to receive his citizenship, another summerwent by withouta chance at international soccer, as Nagbedreamed of one day represent the U.S. against the world's elite.
Fast forward to the Copa America Centenario, and that dream has become a reality, but Nagbe is the first to say that there is plenty of work ahead of both himself and his team.
Veterans Gyasi Zardes and Alejandro Bedoya starred for the U.S. Men's National Team on Saturday night, but it was a 17-year-old newcomer that stole the show in the USMNT's final pre-Copa America friendly.
Christian Pulisic netted his first USMNT goal on Saturday night to help the USMNT cruise past Bolivia, 4-0, at Children's Mercy Park.
On paper, Saturday's friendly with Bolivia appears to be a stepping stone for the U.S. Men's National Team ahead of the Copa America. But, with starting spots on the line and confidenceto gain, the friendly against the CONMEBOL nation takes on massive importance for a team looking to build into this summer's tournament.
Watching the USMNT is always an experience, but the last 20 minutes finally brought a little joy back to the proceedings. Let's get into the links, shall we?
USA vs. Ecuador, 2016 Friendly: Final score 1-0, Darlington Nagbe's first international goal wins it late - Stars and Stripes FC: After a bad first half, Jurgen finally brough on the players who should have started (Bobby Wood, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic) and the team looked better and scored a goal.