3.13.2009

Just a Little Random Something About Portland & USL

TimbersHat

You know while we're all distracted by the Portland expansion effort it's kinda easy to get wrapped up in the headiness of it all and forget that they already have a team and they're deep in the throws of getting their sh*t together for the 2009 USL season. Obviously it's not making as much noise as the city council meetings and the marches on city hall but coach Gavin Wilkinson has been quietly picking up some decent pieces to solve his roster puzzle.

In the last 2 weeks they've signed Steve Cronin --LA's starting keeper last year--, taken in Real Salt Lake's Generation Adidas player Alex Nimo on a season-long loan, and re-signed Japanese World Cup veteran Suzuki Takayuki. Today they announced the signing of K.C. Wizards regular Ryan Pore to a 2-year deal. I'm certainly not saying that this is a crew of world-beaters by any stretch but none of these are bad pickups for a USL side. Hopefully they can get it done this year with these guys in what could be one of thier last USL seasons.

And speaking of USL, I'm really surprised that in the quest to cover every angle of MLS Expansion Death Race 3000™, none of the soccer beat writers have covered the USL angle. As of today there are 10 clubs in USL 1; 2 of which were not in the league last season, 1 of which will most-likely to fold any day now, and 2 of which are likely to join MLS in 2011. Last season they lost teams in Virgina Beach and California, and Atlanta closed thier doors this off-season. There's always a churn of a team or two every year but as of late it seems more volatile than usual.

What happen's if, as many believe, Vancouver and Portland move on up to MLS leaving the league with just 7 sides? Or what happens to Vancouver or Portland if only one of them gets in leaving only one travel expense-strapped team in the league out west? It's a topic worthy of some real talk. Ives, Goff, Bueno, Lalas, anyone...can you make it happen?

5 comments:

Lucas said...

If we get the Timbers MLS side we've still got '09 and '10 for USL.

As for the overall stability of USL-1, I am sanguine. Austin and Cleveland join this year to replace Atlanta (and Miami?) Tampa Rowdies come next year, and somewhere this morning I read a rumor that there could be a New York team also in 2010 (can't find that link now).

ERic said...

I'm cool with commentators ignoring USL-1. There's another USL-1 team about to be announced -- check Ives blog -- in NYC for 2010. So that's two new teams for next year.

I'm starting to think that it would be good for both MLS and USL-1 if both Portland and Vancouver move up. Save on traveling for USL-1. And there are at least two more teams rumored for USL-1, so, while it's volatile, it always has been.

I think it'll be fine.

But I really want that to be true. I'm already pretty attached to my Aztex.

SF said...

Oh yes, they have two years. Sorry, bad math at the end of the day.

Capello said...

Portland Timbers vs New York Red Bulls Friday March 20th, 2009 @ Merlo Field on the University of Portland campus. I'll take some good pictures for you man.

startingeleven.blogspot.com said...

Well, if only 1 of them make it, hopefully its Vancouver. Whoever is left (Portland) will fold because they are the only USL-1 team in PST and travel costs are a bitch