Timbers' five key factors, roster and schedule

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

Timbers head coach Caleb Porter says this team has the potential to be one of the five Western Conference playoff teams in 2013. Here are five things that will factor prominently in the team's fortunes.

Finishing opportunities: Portland will need to score more than 34 goals in 34 games to be anywhere near the hunt. A big season from new striker Ryan Johnson will help, but he cannot do it alone.

Staying healthy: Injuries have already impacted this season, with emerging forward Bright Dike and Camas' native Brent Richards both expected to miss most of the season following knee surgery. Injuries impact every team during the 34-match, eight-month season. But the Timbers don't yet have the depth to withstand long-term injuries to key playmakers.

In-game adjustments: Porter has said that turning the Timbers into the team he envisions is a process. But for the Timbers to make the most of 2013, the first-year head coach will need to effectively adjust to in-game challenges presented by more experienced MLS coaches.

Road success: The Timbers had one win, four ties and 12 losses away from Portland in 2012, scoring 10 goals and allowing 35. Through two MLS seasons, Portland is 3-21-10 away from Jeld-Wen Field. Those are not playoff-contender results.

The other guys: Even if Portland is improved, grabbing one of the playoff spots could be difficult. Seattle and Los Angeles are MLS Cup contenders. San Jose had the league's best record in 2012. Vancouver made the playoffs last season, Real Salt Lake is in transition but has been a perennial contender for several years, and FC Dallas figures to be improved if midfielder David Ferreira, the 2010 MLS MVP, stays healthy.

ROSTER

No. Pos. Players Age Ht. Wt. Home country

TBA F Frederic Piquione 34 6-2 170 New Caledonia

1 GK Donovan Ricketts 35 6-4 210 Jamaica

2 D Ryan Miller 28 5-11 165 United States

4 M Will Johnson 26 5-10 160 Canada

5 D Michael Harrington 27 6-0 170 United States

6 F/M Darlington Nagbe 22 5-9 165 Liberia

7 M Sal Zizzo 25 5-10 165 United States

8 M Diego Valeri 26 5-10 165 Argentina

9 F Ryan Johnson 28 6-1 180 Jamaica

11 M Kalif Alhassan 22 5-10 160 Ghana

12 D David Horst 27 6-4 210 United States

13 M Jack Jewsbury 31 6-0 185 United States

14 M Ben Zemanski 24 6-1 180 United States

15 M Steven Evans 21 6-1 180 United States

16 F Brent Richards 22 5-10 165 United States

17 M Michael Nanchoff 24 5-8 150 United States

18 D Ryan Kawulok 23 6-2 185 United States

19 F Bright Dike 26 6-1 220 United States

20 F Jose Valencia 21 6-1 180 Colombia

21 M Diego Chara 26 5-8 150 Colombia

22 D/M Rodney Wallace 24 6-0 165 Costa Rica

23 D/M Mobi Fehr 18 6-0 160 United States

24 F Sebastian Rincon 19 6-1 175 Colombia

25 D Dylan Tucker-Gangnes 22 6-3 190 United States

27 D Mikael Silvestre 35 6-0 190 France

30 GK Milos Kocic 27 6-4 200 Serbia

33 D Hanyer Mosquera 26 6-1 175 Colombia

35 D Andrew Jean-Baptiste 20 6-2 205 United States

90 GK Jake Gleeson 22 6-3 200 New Zealand

98 D Mamadou Danso 29 6-3 185 The Gambia

SCHEDULE

Sunday, March 3 New York Red Bulls 4:30 p.m. ESPN2

Saturday, March 9 Montreal Impact 7:30 p.m. Ch. 12

Saturday, March 16 at Seattle Sounders 5 p.m. NBCSN

Saturday, March 30 at Colorado Rapids 3 p.m. ROOT

Saturday, April 6 Houston Dynamo 7:30 p.m. ROOT

Sunday, April 14 San Jose Earthquakes 7:30 p.m. NBCSN

Sunday, April 21 at San Jose Earthquakes 8 p.m. ROOT

Saturday, April 27 at Sporting Kansas City 5:30 p.m. KPDX

Thursday, May 2 New England Revolution 7:30 p.m. ROOT

Wednesday, May 8 at FC Dallas 6 p.m. ROOT

Sunday, May 12 Chivas USA 3 p.m. Ch. 12

Saturday, May 18 at Vancouver Whitecaps 4 p.m. ROOT

Saturday, May 25 at DC United 4 p.m. ROOT

Saturday, June 8 at Chicago Fire 5:30 p.m. KPDX

Saturday, June 15 FC Dallas 2 p.m. ESPN

Wednesday, June 19 at LA Galaxy 7:30 p.m. Ch. 12

Sunday, June 23 Colorado Rapids 4 p.m. NBCSN

Sunday, July 7 at Columbus Crew 2 p.m. ROOT

Saturday, July 13 LA Galaxy 8 p.m. NBCSN

Saturday, July 20 at Philadelphia Union 4:30 p.m. KPDX

Saturday, July 27 at San Jose Earthquakes 7:30 p.m. ROOT

Saturday, Aug. 3 Vancouver Whitecaps 8 p.m. ROOT

Saturday, Aug. 17 FC Dallas 8 p.m. Ch. 12

Wednesday, Aug. 21 Real Salt Lake 8 p.m. ROOT

Sunday, Aug. 25 at Seattle Sounders 7 p.m. ESPN2

Friday, Aug. 30 at Real Salt Lake 7 p.m. NBCSN

Saturday, Sept. 7 Toronto FC 8 p.m. Ch. 12

Saturday, Sept. 14 at Chivas USA 7:30 p.m. ROOT

Friday, Sept. 20 Colorado Rapids 7 p.m. NBCSN

Sunday, Sept. 29 LA Galaxy 12:30 p.m. Ch. 8

Sunday, Oct. 6 at Vancouver Whitecaps 5 p.m. ROOT

Sunday, Oct. 13 Seattle Sounders 6 p.m. ESPN

Saturday, Oct. 19 Real Salt Lake 7:30 p.m. ROOT

Saturday, Oct. 26 at Chivas USA 7:30 p.m. ROOT