The Portland Timbers come into today's match against the LA Galaxy riding high on the back of their big season opening win last week, but they will need to dig deep to sustain their momentum if they want to officially put their road woes in the past and get a win in Carson. Getting points at the StubHub Center will be made all the more difficult by a spate of injuries to the Timbers' back line, with Vytas out and both Liam Ridgewell and Powell questionable coming into today's match.
On Thursday the Portland Timbers announced they have signed Rennico Clarke and Victor Arboleda, a pair of T2 products, to first-team contracts. Together with homegrown player Marco Farfan, Arboleda and Clarke make three 2016 T2 contributors now signed to the first team. But more than just an infusion of young talent into the first team, the signings of Arboleda and Clarke represent the first wave of a new development era in Portland.
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 Gresham, OR native and Centennial High School senior is now a Portland Timber.
When you heard 'the Portland Timbers signed a homegrown player' today your first thought might not have been Marco Farfan.
Farfan was heavily involved in the first half of the season, but went quiet once school started up at the end of August just as fellow academy prospect Blake Bodily started to grab the attention of Timbers fans.
This morning the Portland Timbers made their fourth homegrown player signing since since joining Major League Soccer, adding former Timbers Academy and Portland Timbers 2 player Marco Farfan to the first team.
A left back by trade, Farfan has been turning heads with his play for T2 this summer, showing that he had the skill to hang with the professionals as he made eighteen starts for the Timbers' USL side in the 2016 season.
The prospective league would play at one tier below MLS, keeping the current slate of Canadian MLS teams in place.
With LAFC's impending expansion, it may seem that California is filling up it's MLS quota with three teams, but in actuality, there is more than enough room for future teams in the golden state.