Team Profile: Portland Timbers
Updated: Feb 27
Year founded: 2009.
First season in MLS: 2011.
Stadium: Providence Park, Portland, OR. Honors: MLS Cup (2015).
2023 highlights: the season opens on February 25th at home to Sporting Kansas City. The month of March involves games against both LA teams, as well as the new outfit from St. Louis, and a trip to Atlanta United. The Timbers face back-to-back Cascadia Cup clashes in April, as well as only a second-ever meeting with FC Cincinnati but a first visit to TQL Stadium. In a repeat of the 2021 MLS Cup, the Timbers will host New York City on June 24th, a first regular season match-up since 2019. September starts with matches against Seattle, LAFC, and Austin, before they wrap up the regular season in October with games in Montreal and home to Houston.
Head Coach: Giovanni Savarese.
Players to watch: Yimmi Chara, Eryk Williamson, Sebastián Blanco, Jarosław Niezgoda.
Evander (transfer from FC Midtjylland) Nathan Fogaça (re-signed)
Eric Miller (free agent)
Blake Bodily (option declined) George Fochive (option declined) Bill Tuiloma (trade to Charlotte FC)
Josecarlos Van Rankin (purchase option declined) Justin Vom Steeg (option declined)
2022 summary: a 3-1 loss at Real Salt Lake on Decision Day Sunday denied the Timbers a place in the postseason for the first time since 2016. No other side in the Western Conference tied as many games as the Timbers (13), which may have hampered their hopes. They went on a 10-game unbeaten run from June 18th to August 13th but won only four of those games. With seven games remaining, the Timbers put on a spurt, winning four in a row only to go 0-2-1 over the final three to miss out by one point, from RSL. Dairon Asprilla followed up his career high 10 goals in 2021 with another 10 in 2022, from only 19 starts.
Facts and Stats: the Timbers set a scoring record in 2022. Having gone winless in four, they destroyed Sporting Kansas City 7-2 on May 14th at Providence Park, managing their most goals ever in an MLS game. It turned out to be their only win in nine.
Milestones in 2023: the match against St. Louis City on March 11th, the Timbers' third game of the season, will be regular season game number 400 for the club. They are two home games away from 200, while their next goal will be number 600. The season opener against Sporting Kansas City will be Giovanni Savarese's 160th regular season game in charge (68-52-39). On the player front, Claudio Bravo has made 49 appearances and starts, Sebastian Blanco sits on 159 appearances - he is also on 40 goals and 50 assists, so should edge closer to the 50-50 Club this season (at least 50 goals and assists in MLS).