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What do Timbers-Whitecaps plan now?

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on Nov. 23, 2010 at 12:07 pm with 17 Comments »
November 23, 2010 12:09 pm

Here’s some coverage indicating — maybe — what the Timbers and Whitecaps thought of the lists they were presented yesterday.

From the Oregonian.

Key paragraphs:

Some well-known names left unprotected are Real Salt Lake and former Oregon State star Robbie Findley, Seattle’s Blaise N’kufo, New York’s Juan Pablo Angel, Kansas City’s Jimmy Conrad and Chicago’s Nery Castillo.

But the Timbers, who possess the first pick in the expansion draft, aren’t necessarily looking for the biggest names.

Wilkinson, head coach John Spencer and the Timbers staff have created a number of mock drafts and lists of players they think will be selected. Each team will draft 10 players, and the Timbers want to select mostly younger, athletic players with reasonable salaries.

“The first pick has to be the athlete with the most upside who is the best player available that we will be able to fit into our system,” Wilkinson said. “It’s very important that we get the athlete that we need.”

What Wilkinson is hoping for is to unearth another player similar to Sebastien Le Toux, one of the rare players who went from the expansion draft to the all-star team in one season.

From Vancouver’s The Province.

Key paragraphs:

Toronto FC has left midfielder Julian de Guzman — he of the bloated $1.7 million salary — unprotected, while the Chicago Fire (Nery Castillo and Freddie Ljungberg) and Seattle Sounders (Blaise Nkufo) followed suit by leaving their DPs exposed.

… and

And there is cheaper young talent, too, like Dallas’s Eric Avila and Seattle’s Nate Sturgis, both U.S. youth internationals.

Leave a comment Comments → 17
  1. Bold and probably totally wrong prediction, Portland takes Ianni and Vancouver takes Sturgis. No matter the result it’s going to be a big setback.

  2. EverydayFan says:

    Sorry but as a fan, the whole thing stinks of collusion
    Totally illogical otherwise
    but i’ll keep quiet

  3. blahbl4hblah says:

    Ianni and Sturgis are completely replaceable. Hell, we already have replacements. Hurtado and Parke will play in back and Evans will pick up where he left off in cam.
    If anything, Nyassi goes. But even so, we have Flaco to take the spot. What we’ll miss in speed we’ll make up in talent, control and poise.
    I could also see Gonzo going too, which would be the biggest setback. Maybe replaced by one of the players we got for Vagenas? The other loss might be Nkufo too, but I’ve heard rumors about him going to Vancouver anyway.. So that’ll be a setback… But what if we lose Nkufo and pick up JPA??? How bittersweet would that be? I think someone with the firepower of JPA matched with Montero up top would be a devastating force to reckon with!

  4. exSlacker says:

    I have enjoyed watching Nkufo play….but we can pick up a high quality and similar player for 500k. I noted a rumor on an earlier article regarding Steffen Iversen from Norway. It was rumored that an MLS team had expressed interest and a) we played his club, Rosenborg, in preseason and b) Keller played with him at Tottenham. He’s 34, 6’1″, great in the air and good in tight spaces…pretty similar…and I’m sure there are many players out there of a similar cut who maight be interested in spending some time in a world-class city like Seattle.

    To me, Sturgis is the hardest to replace. The big difference we noticed immediately when he entered the line up was improved set plays. Before him, no PKs, no scores on corners, few on longer or angled directs…..after him, both. And…he’s young (23) and inexpensive. Evans brings a lot to the table, and I’ll be psyched when he’s back, but set play delivery is not his thing…, you want his size in the fray on set plays.

    We won’t have to wait long to know….3 hrs. Excited to see the wheeling and dealing!! I have faith in our management. Yes, we lost LeToux last year….but he would never have been for the Sounders what he was in Philly. It was the right move for him, though we missed his fire-plug subbing. However, Fucito showed that same sort of tenacity and if he stays healthy, he has sooooooo much upside.

  5. blahbl4hblah says:

    Nyassi to Vancouver… Still on the fence about that one…

  6. exSlacker says:

    Nyassi and Sturgis…this is worst case, imho.

  7. And Sturgis goes to Vancouver. So now I think we gotta start grooming Montano for the right wing, and play Fernandez centrally.

  8. exSlacker says:

    The only upside here is that no Sounders go to the Twigs.

  9. Oh wait, I forgot about Evans. He’ll probably start centrally, with Flaco on the right.

  10. elmocatt says:

    Interesting that two years in a row, original USL sounders were taken.
    And that two Sounders were taken well ahead of any other players from most MLS teams. Other teams (or at least Van) must think highly of our young talent.

    Was a little surprised that the team protected Ianni and not Sturgis, when Nyassi was picked, given that Parke and Hurtado are the starting CBs. Guess team figured it needed a #3 CB (Ianni) more than a #2 mid (Evans starting again next season – assuming no additions – with maybe Fernandez able to slide into the middle, from the wing, if needed).

    Also surprised that Van did not take Nfuko – when his name appeared on the unprotected list, figured it was part of some agreement to have him come over to MLS, since his family now lives in Vancouver. But, apparently not. Lucky for us Sounder fans.

  11. joepublic says:

    With Evans and Hurtado the team appears to be banking on players who will be coming back from major injuries. Banking, or gambling.

    Sturgis was far more effective in the central midfield role this year than Evans was last year — more patient, more intelligent with the ball, all that stuff that you need with a holding midfielder.

    With Nyassi it was just never clear that the elevator went all the way to the top floor, if you know what I mean. We will miss his speed, but not his inability to consistently deliver quality balls from out wide.

  12. I thought Sturgis improved a lot but for some reason I don’t feel like he has as much potential as Evans. Can’t put my finger on it… Brad just seems more athletic.

    Nyassi I found maddening. Even when he went on the scoring spurt I was always relieved to see Flaco come on.

    All and all, I think we escaped fairly well. Losing Ianni or Gonzalez would have been worse in my book. I’m still kinda shocked that Portland didn’t take Pat. Should be interesting to see Findley playing in Timber green.

    In other news, interesting UEFA matchup with Man U at Rangers.

  13. Rangers are hanging pretty good with Man U.

  14. EverydayFan says:

    Could have been worse – I thought Nkufo was on his way to Vansterdam via pre-arranged marriage … Glad those Portland scum didn’t get any of our guys

  15. joepublic says:

    Rangers pack the D in a game they have to win. Nice.

    Justice served with the late Rooney PK.

  16. I knew JP would be chiming in sooner or later. :)

  17. joepublic says:

    Unbeaten in Europe, unbeaten in the league. …

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