Portland Timbers: Wild Day of Trades
Yesterday was filled with a lot of excitement for the Timbers faithful. Several people, myself included, were distracted from work and glued to twitter as the wild day of trading began. Rumors were already circling around Sunday night about who would be out and who would be in. So let’s dive into the eventful day of trades for the Portland Timbers.
The morning started off with a trade that came out of nowhere but at first glance looked as if the Timbers got away like thieves. The Portland Timbers acquired allocation and homegrown rights for Bryan Gallego from New York Red Bulls in exchange for defender Kosuke Kimura and a 2013 Draft Pick. Gallego played for Caleb Porter at Akron and is the former captain of U.S. U-18 team and current member of the U-20 team.
This signing was clearly about the future, as Gallego is still in college, but it looked as if the Timbers stole one from the Red Bulls. However, the Timbers have a clause in Kenny Cooper’s contract that if he resigned with New York, they would have to pay Portland $75,000. Part of the trade was to not have to pay $75,000 to resign Cooper, which means Kenny Cooper may get resigned to the Red Bulls after all.
Later in the day, the Timbers acquired Michael Harrington from Sporting Kansas City for allocation money. Harrington has played all 6 seasons for Kansas City appearing in 149 matches, logging more than 11,600 minutes and recording five goals and 14 assists with the club. He is an excellent addition for the Timbers.
The Timbers Army was getting more and more excited as the time passed. #RCTID was trending on twitter from the first signing up and all throughout the day. Heartbreaking news that the fan favorite, Eric Brunner was traded to Houston Dynamo for allocation money.
The next move helped lift the spirits as a collective sigh came across the twitter universe. “Timbers decline options on Lovel Palmer, Steve Purdy” was the headline. Although Purdy will be missed, we were all over joyed to see Lovel Palmer no longer wear the Timbers green.
As the celebration of Palmer no longer being a Timber continued, Steven Smith sent out this tweet: “Would like to thank timbers fans for their support which is by far the best in MLS met some great people in a great city good luck #RCTID”
So now, that means, Kimura, Brunner, Palmer, Purdy, and Smith won’t be returning from Porter’s first day of work, but there were still the rumors of the Real Salt Lake midfielder Will Johnson.
Merrit Paulson told the world there will be one more announcement and it’ll be big. The last trade announcement of the day was that the club had acquired midfielder and Canadian international Will Johnson from Real Salt Lake in exchange for allocation money. Gavin Wilkinson talked about Will Johnson after the signing saying:
“Will is a proven player in MLS and has experience winning an MLS cup championship,” said Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson. “He will be a key piece moving forward and brings a winning mentality that we feel will be very important to our culture; he is mentally tough and his attitude is infectious. He is also extremely versatile in our system.”
Will Johnson was very excited about coming to Portland as he tweeted:
“The first time I played in Portland I dreamed of playing there. My dream is now reality and my family and I are extremely grateful! #excited” – @WillJohnson08
This has been an interesting day for the Timbers. Some beloved players that will be missed but sometimes sacrifices are needed to better the club. The Portland Timbers have the 3rd pick in the MLS Re-entry draft and there are some very excellent players available to pick up. It’s going to be interesting to see how the next few days turn out. Is Caleb Porter finished making trades or was this the beginning of a big facelift for the Timbers? Either way, “In Porter We Trust”