Welcome to the seventeenth Season Preview of the 2023 MLS season! We are continuing this journey with a team with some of the best depth in the league, Portland Timbers. A record signing for the club this winter, I have high expectations for this group heading into the season. For those of you who are new to MLS Now's work, thanks for reading today and check out all of what our podcast and blog site has to offer. Let's get into it below.
Record: 11-13-10 (46 points/8th in West)
Team Leader Goals: Dairon Asprilla 10, Jaroslaw Niezgoda 9, Sebastian Blanco 7/Santiago Moreno 7
Team Leader Assists: Yimmi Chara 9, Sebastian Blanco 8/Santiago Moreno/Eryk Williamson 8
Manager: Giovanni Savarese (6th season)
Additions: CM Evander ($10 million transfer from FC Midtjylland/24 years old)
Subtractions: RB Josecarlos van Rankin (return loan to Chivas/29 years old)
Designated Players: CM Evander, CAM Sebastian Blanco, RW Yimmi Chara
Projected Starting XI
Wow... looking at this team on paper I am impressed with how the Timbers are looking heading into this season. Anytime Sebastian Blanco can be a super sub for your team, you know your attacking depth is at a different level. They are one of the only teams to not lose a key piece from their lineup in the winter transfer window, and continuity is a good thing. Their addition? $10 million Brazilian midfield transfer Evander. I think he is going to take the league by storm and he looked great in his first preseason start. Santiago Moreno is deservingly viewed to be a breakout candidate across national media as well. As an Atlanta fan, Eryk Williamson has been one of the players I wish Atlanta could pay up and trade for; he's such a consistent presence in the middle of the field. Their question marks include their striker position. Many people think they need a new 9, but I think Niezgoda will hit the 15 goal mark this year (just a hunch). Even with the depth, the injury bug is trying to hit Portland early. They will be tested in the first few weeks, but I view them to be one of the strongest teams in the West. Gio Savarese has a lot to work with in his locker room.
Thanks for viewing our seventeenth 2023 season preview. There will be a new one out about every single day leading up to MLS kickoff. If you are a passionate fan looking to write about your club, we are actively seeking contributors for MLS clubs this season. If interested, message us on either Twitter or Instagram @MLSNowPodcast. We want to provide an outlet for fans to discuss their club on the site and also guest star on the podcast throughout the season.