I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm really excited to see Asprilla starting at centerback.


Good with headers at least and his clearances are going way outside the 18-yard box and might take off some heads on their way out.


guaranteed to do at least one bicycle-kick clearance a half.


>Mabiala and Zuparic will conduct their rehabilitation with the Timbers sports medicine staff at Providence Park and at the Providence Sports Care Center. **They are expected to return in approximately six weeks.** Bill is called up to NZMNT and will be gone until 2nd week of Feb or so, meaning we're down to just McGraw for CB for a little while. Edit: Oh, I just realized the regular season starts in 5 weeks :\\


Well, for preseason Zach and the CB draft picks will get some good reps. Based on the specified timeline Dario and Larrys shouldn't miss too much of the regular season. I'm now a lot less concerned than when I saw the headline saying our top two centerbacks both underwent surgery.


I think Bill and McGraw will be the week 1 starters unless someone comes down the pipeline quickly. That said, I'm not 100% sure we need another young, rough CB we can never give minutes to.


I thought re-signing Mabiala was a mistake last offseason, and despite him having an outrageously good stretch run, I'll still stand by that. Giving him guaranteed money makes it extremely difficult to fit another body at CB. Unless his salary is expected to decrement over the life of the deal (highly unlikely), we've taken the gamble that he'll be both available and productive for a full season since we can't replace him.


And we needed someone basically on a plane yesterday to integrate through the preseason. Someone who probably costs Mabiala/Zuparic money. Someone expected to either displace one of the two, or only feasibly play 6-10 matches all season.


Yep, exactly. Let's say we have a salary bucket for each of the positions. In the CB bucket, Zuparic fills 1/3, Mabiala fills another 1/3, and Tuiloma/McGraw fill close to the final 1/3. There might be some room left, but probably not enough to acquire another player - or at least a difference-maker. We could grab a bigger bucket, but that means another position would require a smaller one, and that trade-off is a tough call (i.e why I polled this sub on whether they wanted Blanco or a TAM CB) As a result, we've essentially backed ourselves into hoping to find a U22 CB. And GW/NG have struck out with that logic. Or I guess what I'm trying to say is: we're kinda fucked until Mabiala/Zuparic recover.


> I thought re-signing Mabiala was a mistake last offseason Agreed. At the very least, I felt that we needed to deemphasize Larrys in favor of either a new face, or perhaps Bill or Zach. Oh, well.


I don't exactly disagree, but trying to question literally anything we did up until the Final last year is hard. The results on the pitch showed we did well...up until we had to structure for 2022.


The one month off-season is just not enough. I'm usually among the most optimistic of Timbers fans, but this could be another brutal start to the season.


Luckily, the short off-season isn't the norm. It's always difficult when trying to shift schedules


Lol we’ve had horrible weird schedules 4 years in a row now right starting with the stadium expansion?


we started the last season coming out of concacaf and got the finals. yeah, it kinda sucks but i think we'll pull it together


Great -- both starting CBs with sports hernias. 6 weeks recovery minimum and missing all of preseason training.


This is totally cool while we're trying out two new GKs. Bleach all around! Skol! (J/K, they'll be back at the start of the season. Sky isn't falling)


The consolation here, as proven again and again and again by our three Western Conference titles, is that the beginning of the season doesn't matter nearly as much as the end. I've said a million times that I don't pay any attention to MLS tables until after Yom Kippur; to do otherwise would be, for me at least, an act of masochistic madness. (PS: Yom Kippur ends on Oct. 5 this year, fyi.)


How DARE you be a voice of reason... REASON? REASON!!?!




There is literally zero "reason" in Shawn's take. Points in February count as much as one's in November. Shawn isn't being very rational.


Except for the observed, confirmed results of 2 PTFC runs to MLS Cup in 2015 and 2020, that is. From those results, it's VERY REASONABLE to infer that points earned later in the season - against focused competition, when a team needs to be at its best to qualify then make a deep run in the playoffs - are indeed more valuable than points other teams earned in early season efforts against inferior sides. For examples, look to NERevs in 2021, and especially SKC in 2020...


That's basically a confirmation bias. Any team that ends up winning a series of playoffs to hoist a trophy obviously finishes on a strong run, requiring 4-5 straight wins at the very least. And teams that have an uninjured/undepleted roster going into playoffs have a better shot than those in the opposite camp, and the undepleted teams are more likely to be winning late in the season. NYCFC only snagged 13 points in their last 10 regular season games, 1.3ppg, which is almost always below the red-line for getting in the playoffs. Yet they hoisted the Cup. In the 24 games preceding, they got 38 points for 1.58ppg, and had they done less well early in the season they would never have made the playoffs. in 2014, after finishing first in the West in 2013, we struggled early in the season and only snagged 31 points from our first 24 games for a meager 1.29ppg. We finished like a boss with 18 points in the last 10, but that left us 1 point out of a playoff spot. These anecdotal attempts (you with our 2015 and 2020 runs and me with my two) can be somewhat illuminating but when they hand out the Supporters Shield, determine whether you made the playoffs, and what your seeding will be, I can guarantee that spring's points count as much as the fall's.


Best thing about sport... lotsa different ways to achieve success, and just as many different discussions to be had about them! No question that points is points no matter when they're earned... and earning them under circumstances of having all hands together and playing at their best going into a Cup tournament is a greater indicator of ultimate success than backing in. That said, NYCFC is a great counterexample for this premise because it points up the inexact nature of the ways success is achieved. For that matter, if Seba were able to come back from that last injury the Cup match might well have turned out differently!


Sure there is. It's not that hard to make the playoffs in the current format, what matters most is heading into October/November in strong form for the playoffs. A couple losses in March only matters if we can't make up the difference later, which we usually can.


I should have heeded this advice in the 2021 season. For several weeks, I was...more than a little worried.


I’m not steely-eyed enough to be serene *that* long; I use Labor Day as the marker. This year may be a little different as the season runs earlier in the year, though. So maybe this year I’ll use the Perseid Meteor Shower as a marker.


The way this roster build is shaping up, I'd say we should all reserve judgment until the summer transfer window. We'll likely have a few slots available and more time to figure out how to fill them.


I don't count hardly anything until at least 5 games. Last season got a little nerve wracking with the slow start but overall, furst couple months don't really matter


Ah yes, when we atone for how atrocious we've been up to Yom kippur and start with a fresh slate leading into the playoffs


Oh hey looks like we get to try out the U-26 defense after all


Good luck Rasmussen!


New formation, the 3-4-4!


I mean, if I can put 12 men on the field, I'll take not having our starting CBs.


Oops, haha 3-4-3m maybe 3-5-2?


Maybe the GK could double as the CB in. 3-4-4. Haha


The great Nat and Ridgy out of retirement comeback tour.!


So...McGraw and I dunno, Paredes? starting at CB in the opener then?


The temptation to temporarily go with three in the back will be strong, but Gio's track record when experimenting with formations is not good. He must resist.


UHHHH HELLO? Our two starting (arguably with Mabs) CBs get the same injury and are out until the start of the season? Hi, yes, I would like to purchase a defender or five please So currently our backline is Bonilla-McGraw-Tuiloma-Bravo. And behind them is… no one. We got no backups currently. Now I’m sure we are on the market for some defenders, but I think we might need to speed things up now (Though honestly I would be absolutely fine with Chara at CB since we will have Ayala to fill for him)


Got like 3 draft picks that all play the backline, guess they are gonna get more run!


Hey honestly I’m ok with that, draft picks are a great asset if they work out


We just gonna run that Paul Westfall game plan and our score everybody 13-12.


We seem to have a disproportionate amount of our players that require sports hernia repairs each offseason. Didn’t Ivacic require one last season? Need to stretch out those groins better!


sooooo…. they’re younger now?