MLS Expansion: Whitecaps Fans Getting Antsy Over Timbers Progress

86Forever’s Benjamin Massey asks his fellow Whitecaps fans to cool their concerns over the Timbers’ getting out of the gates first when it comes to filling out their roster.

Portland is up 4-0 on us in the all-important “squad members” category! Of course, the Whitecaps only finished their season on Sunday and the players haven’t even had time to dry their eyes yet, but no matter. Surely we should see the nucleus of our squad assembled sooner rather than later?

Massey goes on to point out that this news was hardly “news” at all. That the Timbers were essentially basking in the spotlight while reading the cast list.

Portland’s announcement of Pore, Dike, and Cronin is indicative of nothing. If Portland was going to take a single player from its USSF D2 team, it was going to take those three. We now know that Portland isn’t completely tearing down the team, but there was no reason to believe earlier that either they would or that they should. From a soccer standpoint, there was nothing to chew on beyond the acquisition of a 26-year-old striker who surely could never be more than a bench player in Major League Soccer. This was a public relations stunt, pure and simple, and with Timbers season tickets supposedly selling very well it’s hard to see what they need a public relations stunt for.

And to be fair, I don’t remember other expansion teams calling press conferences to announce signings as potentially insignificant as these. If the Timbers are planning to be a competitive MLS side, they can’t possibly be planning to start all four of these players. All four of those players have been in MLS camps as recently as last year and none of them are in Division I for a reason. It just seems hard to believe that the Timbers will enter the season with three attacking players who were recently discarded by MLS.

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