Hopes are high as the Portland Timbers get ready for their first MLS season. Just about three weeks before their first match, though, they've received some bad news: No. 2 overall SuperDraft pick Darlington Nagbe will undergo surgery for a sports hernia and likely miss 2-4 weeks as he recovers. Nagbe was largely believed to be in line for starters' minutes, and has earned consistently high praise from Timbers coach John Spencer.
Nagbe could still, theoretically, be ready in time for the Timbers' first match on March 19. Considering he won't be able to practice at full speed for at least another two weeks, though, that seems like a stretch.
This would seem to open the door for Ryan Pore to start. Pore is the reigning MVP of USSF-Division 2 and was one of the first players the Timbers signed. But Pore had only played about 170 minutes in the team's last five preseason matches and was starting to look like he may have lost his starting job. Recently acquired Sal Zizzo could also be in competition for that starting spot.