Timbers Notes: First win brings positive vibes and centerback depth issues

TimbersCelebrate (PortlandTimbers)


It had been a long time between home wins for the Portland Timbers. In fact, before Portland’ 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday, it had been 218 calendar days since the club’s last victory at Jeld-Wen Field.

The win wasn’t only Portland’s first at home since August of 2012, but also Caleb Porter’s first win as a professional head coach. Getting over the victory hump has provided validation for the changes that have been made since training camp began.

“We got three points, they earned it, they deserved it, I think its a culmination of not only ┬áthe work they did that week in training but the entire season,” Porter said. “But we knew we were capable of more and we were looking for that breakthrough and we got it.”

Moving ahead, the Timbers are coming into back-to-back games against the San Jose Earthquakes. Portland has been able to go toe-toe-toe with the Earthquakes since the club’s move to MLS. In fact, Portland was the only Western Conference team that San Jose was unable to beat last season

“Ideally you want to be playing well and getting points and I thought we did that on the day so that leaves us with a good feeling going into this week,” Porter said. “And yet we have a very difficult opponent coming here in san jose, they were the supporters shield winners last year and its going to be a tough game. So we have to do it, game after game after game, we can’t just do it one game.”

Here are some more notes to catch you up on all things Portland:


David Horst, who was injured early in Saturday’s game after making a challenge, underwent surgery Monday to repair a displaced tibial plateau fracture in his right leg. It could be a long way back for Horst as the team expects him to be out for at least six months.

Horst was making just his second start of the season after injuring his hip in preseason camp. This is also the second major injury for Horst since joining the Timbers in the MLS expansion draft. Horst missed the first three months of the 2012 season with a torn labrum in his hip.

Another center back who appears to be on the way out is Hanyer Mosquera. Mosquera has not been with the club since March 18, when he returned to Colombia for “personal reasons.” With Horst out, one might expect Mosquera to return to Portland, but his time with the Timbers has likely drawn to a close.

From Colombia, Mosquera has tweeted that he is ready for a “new challenge” in his career, while Colombian-based soccer journalist Chavi Delgado has reported that Mosquera’s contract with the Timbers has been terminated.

The losses of Horst and Mosquera leave the Timbers with little depth behind Mikael Silvestre and Andrew Jean-Baptiste. Rookie Dylan Tucker-Gagnes played well in the preseason, but is still yet to make his regular season debut.

Gambian International Futty Danso, who is the longest-tenured Timber having joined the club at the beginning of the 2009 USL season, has struggled to make his presence known since Porter’s arrival. In fact, Danso has yet to be included in the gameday actives roster this season.

While Andrew Jean-Baptiste and Mikael Silvestre are the obvious starters at the back, an injury to either one might put the club in a precarious position.


  • The Squad

    Well, things clicked on the offensive end versus Houston.

    Realistically speaking, the team’s emphasis seems to revolve around the ability to generate something in the offensive third.

    They meshed and the teamed scored solid win at home.

    So what now versus a San Jose team returning to fitness?

    Silvetstre’s signing signalled a willingness to address the issues at the back. He ‘s out and a few others are hurt.

    Luckily, they play a San Jose team that relies on stuff falling at people’s feet around the goal rather than run of play offense.

    Whoever plays has to worry more about injury than positioning and continuity.


    • drew11

      Horst has been hurt a lot the last couple years. Huge mistake not getting more cover in that spot.


    • Joe

      Silvestre was out a late scratch with an adductor strain vs. Colorado but he was back with Horst (then the sub of Jean-Baptiste) as the CB pairing with Jewsbury and Harrington on the outside.

      Rodney Wallace, I have always been one of your defenders, thank you for finally being able to show the Costa Rica Rodney we’ve seen when played in your best position.

      That alone may be the saving grace of having Porter as the coach – his malleability to make things work and adapt to the players and their strengths.

      I hope this is a sign of things to come and if Gordon doesn’t play, I suspect we’ll snag a 2-0, 2-1 victory come Sunday evening. I’ll be there, because all we really want is GOALS!


    • WK

      Hmm, that’s a little disingenuous of you. Did you even see SJ’s goal against Vancouver last week? That was some of the slickest one-touch passing you’ll see. The Quakes can play physical- most usually on display when pressuring the goal in Goonies time, but on their day the SJ MF cycle the ball as well as any. Why do people act like attacking through the wings is such a novel idea? It’s simple, direct, and you know it’s coming. No excuses really.


    • Joe

      That would be fantastic, if he leaves Santander before this year we get the allocation spot for US players I do believe since we were so awful last year. I love Boca and a return to the MLS, albeit a wee further from his Chicago roots would be welcomed with open arms.

      If you’re part of the Gold Cup roster Boca, hear the cheers and imagine putting on the green and gold and white.


  • Berto

    Dylan TG will provide the depth here for teams with a quicker front line. AJB and silvestre will start against SJ with futty as backup. Horst will be missed for his leadership, but Portland has a clear backup with skill


    • Joe

      DTG needs to bide his time with the reserves and I suspect he will get a loan along with Kawulok sooner than later. It worked wonders for Dike last year with LA. I like what MLS is building, the partnerships with other leagues is such a wonderful concept, if not novel.


  • Mike

    Get Gooch! He isn’t playing overseas. He’s a reserve superstar. Convince him to come home. While he can’t hang so well in Serie A or on the Nats anymore, I think he’d be fine in MLS. But I think that DTG and AJB will be good. Alongside Silvestre and with his leadership and experience, I think they’ll be okay.


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