Watch KENS San Antonio, TX Stream Live | Channel 5 Texas

Wondering how to watch CFB without cable? Here are the current streaming services, which CFB channels they offer, and what devices they work on.

YouTube TV Hulu Live TV Sling Orange Sling Blue Sling Sports add-on PS Vue Access PS Vue Core PS Vue Elite PS Vue Sports add-on DirecTV Now Plus DirecTV Now Max ESPN+
Monthly cost $50 $45 $25 $25 j $10 $50 $55 $65 $10 (requires Core+) $50 $70 $5
Simultaneous streams 3 2 e 1 3 n/a 3 o 3 o 3 o 3 o 2 q 2 q 3
Included DVR capacity unlimited gh 50 hrs f n/a kl n/a kl 28 days s 28 days s 28 days s 20 hrs / 30 days 20 hrs / 30 days ?
Channels w/ FBS CFB
ESPN X X X X X X X X
ESPN2 X X X X X X X X
Watch ESPN X X X X X
ESPNU X X X X X X
ESPNews X X X X X X
ESPN GoalLine X
ESPN College Extra c X X X
ABC X X X a X a X a X a X a X a
NBC X X X n X a X a X a X a X a
CBS X X X a X a X a
Fox X X X n X a X a X a X r X r
CBS Sports Network X X X X X
Fox Sports Network X X X
Fox Sports 1 X X X X X X X X
Fox Sports 2 X X X X X X X
FOXS regional X a X a X X a X a X r X r
ACC Network X X X? wx X? wx X? wx
ACCN Extra X
Big Ten Network X X X X X
Pac-12 Network
Pac-12 Network regional X
SEC Network X X X X X X
SEC Network+ ? X
Longhorn Network X z X z X a X a
NFL Network X X X
Channels (FBS CFB?)
Fox College Sports X
NBC Sports X
NBC Sports Network X X X X X X X X
NBC Sports Network regional X a X a X X X
beIN Sports X X X
Stadium y X X
Eleven Sports y X
Devices
Web X X X X X X (Chrome, Safari) X (Chrome, Safari) X
iOS X X X (iOS 11+) X (iOS 11+) X X X X X X
Android X X X X X X X X
AppleTV X X X X X (4th gen+) X (4th gen+) X (4th gen+) X (4th gen+) X (4th gen+) X
FireTV coming soon X X X X X X X (2nd gen+) X (2nd gen+) X
Roku X d X i X m X m X p X p X p X t X t X
Chromecast X X X X X X X X (2nd gen+) X (2nd gen+) X
Nvidia Shield X X X X X X X X
Smart TV X d X i X m X m X (AndroidTV p ) X (AndroidTV p ) X (AndroidTV p ) X u X u X v
Xbox 360 X
Xbox One X X X X X
Playstation 3 X o X o X o
Playstation 4 X o X o X o X
Nintendo Switch X
Windows app X X X
If you see anything incorrect, please let me know! I especially still need help figuring out which regional sports networks are carried by which providers.
Notes:
a. May not be available in all areas
b. You should call your parents more often.
c. Apparently ESPN College Extra is like WatchESPN, but select games on 8 "real" channels? Apparently something for sports bars to subscribe to rather than have streaming boxes?
d. https://support.google.com/youtubetv/answe7129767?hl=en
e. Unlimited streams for $10/mo extra
f. Included DVR does not allow fast forwarding through commercials. "Enhanced Cloud DVR" is $10/mo extra, includes 200 hrs storage and allows fast forwarding through commercials
g. "As long as you maintain your membership status, live TV recordings will be saved for 9 months. Other programs will vary based on agreements with our content partners."
h. Ad skipping availability depends on network
i. Select models https://help.hulu.com/s/article/supported-devices?language=en_US
j. Sling Orange + Sling Blue is $40/mo (a $10 discount)
k. $5/mo upgrade to get 50 hrs of storage
l. DVR will not record any ESPN channels. "FOX requires that Sling shows you a Video On-Demand version of your recording, which does not allow you to fast forward through commercials."
m. https://www.sling.com/supported-devices
n. Only available in select cities https://help.sling.com/en/support/solutions/articles/46000000093-can-i-get-local-channels-on-sling-tv-
o. Up to 5 streams if you follow their stupidly complicated streaming rules: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/faq/supported-devices-and-set-up/#simultaneous-streaming
p. https://www.playstation.com/en-us/network/vue/faq/supported-devices-and-set-up/#supported-devices
q. 3rd stream is $5/mo extra
r. VERY few zipcodes I tried have any broadcast channels other than ABC and NBC, and even fewer had regional sports networks
s. Some channels do not allow DVR recording: some ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC local affiliates; and ESPN Classic on demand. DVR'd FOX programs cannot be fast forwarded.
t. https://www.directvnow.com/ (jerks don't give a direct link to device support)
u. Only Samsung 2017 and 2018 smart TVs
v. Only the "Samsung Connected TV (Tizen)"
w. AACN indicates PS Vue carries it, but I don't see it on any of PS Vue's channel lineups
x. ACCN will supposedly be available August 22nd. Question 21 here: https://promo.espn.com/espn/accn/faq
y. Stadium and Eleven are available for free on PlutoTV (works on many devices)
z. Limited availability outside Texas: Available on Core and up in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, and Tulsa areas. In NOLA and Albuquerque, only on Elite and up. Not available in any base package in Phoenix, Boulder, Memphis, or Kansas City, KS. Check your own zip code here: https://vue.playstation.com/subscription/browse/baseplans?_z=90210
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Game Thread: San Diego Fleet @ San Antonio Commanders

San Diego Fleet at San Antonio Commanders
First Second Third Fourth Final
Fleet 0 6 0 0 6
Commanders 0 6 0 9 15
Coverage
CBS
  • Game Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds Tds Ints
M.Bercovici SD 15/25 176 0 2
L.Woodside SA 18/36 255 0 2
Rushing Car Yds Lng Tds
J.Gardner SD 8 55 25 0
A.Green SA 6 43 21 0
Receiving Rec Yds Lng Tds
B.Brown SD 5 66 29 0
G.Escobar SD 4 66 26 0
M.McKay SA 5 80 22 0
A.Moore SA 3 78 46 0
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Game Thread: Orlando Apollos @ San Antonio Commanders

Orlando Apollos at San Antonio Commanders

First Second Third Fourth Final
Apollos 0 17 3 17 37
Commanders 12 6 11 0 29
Coverage
CBS Sports Network
  • Game Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds Tds Ints
G.Gilbert ORL 19/28 393 2 0
L.Woodside SA 20/39 223 1 1
Rushing Car Yds Lng Tds
D.Johnson ORL 8 57 19 0
K.Farrow, II SA 13 74 15 1
Receiving Rec Yds Lng Tds
C.Johnson ORL 7 192 54 1
J.Marshall ORL 3 84 57 1
D.Ayers SA 5 80 29 0
M.McKay SA 2 36 29 0
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Texas Governor Greg Abbott Signs Chick-fil-A Law Protecting ‘Religious Liberty’ and bans democrats discrimination.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Chick-Fil-A bill is now law in Texas.
Abbott announced he had officially signed the bill protecting “religious liberty” Thursday night, according to a report published by CBS DFW.
“Today I signed the ⁦@ChickfilA⁩ law in Texas. And, had a great lunch. No business should be discriminated against simply because its owners donate to a church, the Salvation Army, or other religious organization. Texas protects religious liberty,” Abbott shared on Twitter.
The law limits government entities from discriminating against businesses, individuals and organizations over religious affiliation.

https://dailycaller.com/2019/07/19/greg-abbott-chick-fil-a-bill-san-antonio/
The_Donald thread on same subject.
About time. Thoughts?
submitted by IronWolve to AskThe_Donald [link] [comments]

Game Thread: San Antonio Commanders (1-2) @ Birmingham Iron (3-0)

San Antonio Commanders at Birmingham Iron

First Second Third Fourth Final
Commanders 3 0 6 3 12
Iron 0 3 0 8 11
Coverage
CBS Sports Network - aaf.com
  • Game Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds Tds Ints
L.Woodside SA 11/25 106 0 0
L.Perez BIR 19/39 202 0 2
Rushing Car Yds Lng Tds
K.Farrow, II SA 30 142 26 0
T.Williams SA 4 20 12 1
B.Ross BIR 9 64 16 0
T.Richardson BIR 8 15 6 1
Receiving Rec Yds Lng Tds
G.Ward, Jr. SA 2 24 13 0
D.Ayers SA 2 21 19 0
M.McKay SA 2 19 13 0
W.Saxton, Jr. BIR 3 54 22 0
T.Richardson BIR 5 37 19 0
L.Washington BIR 3 35 16 0
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Post Game Thread: San Diego Fleet @ San Antonio Commanders

San Diego Fleet at San Antonio Commanders
First Second Third Fourth Final
Fleet 0 6 0 0 6
Commanders 0 6 0 9 15
Coverage
CBS
  • Game Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds Tds Ints
M.Bercovici SD 15/25 176 0 2
L.Woodside SA 18/36 255 0 2
Rushing Car Yds Lng Tds
J.Gardner SD 8 55 25 0
A.Green SA 6 43 21 0
Receiving Rec Yds Lng Tds
B.Brown SD 5 66 29 0
G.Escobar SD 4 66 26 0
M.McKay SA 5 80 22 0
A.Moore SA 3 78 46 0
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Cheapest way to watch Jeopardy live if you don't have DVR and miss your local broadcast: CBS All-Access ($6/month) + Location Guard browser extension = 13 different air times you can catch every day from 10:30 am to 10:30 pm eastern

Now that j4's uploads are getting taken down almost immediately, I figured now is a good time to explain how to watch Jeopardy if you don't have a TV, don't have a DVR, live somewhere without reception, miss your local broadcast, etc. (I had this information in comments in another thread, but I think it's worth its own post.)
There are a number of streaming services that offer live TV plus dvr capabilities for about $40 per month (Hulu, YouTube TV, etc.). If you live somewhere where jeopardy is broadcast locally, that's an option.
A much cheaper option is CBS All Access, which is $6/month and allows you to watch live local broadcasts from any CBS affiliate. Combine that with an internet browser extension that spoofs your location, and you can watch jeopardy live as it airs on various CBS stations around the country--1312 different times per day.
Here's how. Install the browser extension Location Guard in Mozilla Firefox. Close and restart Firefox after you first install it. In the Options tab of Location Guard, set the Default Level to "Use Fixed Location." Then go to the Fixed Location tab, zoom/scroll the map to the desired city, and drop a pin. (Make sure you actually drop a pin; it doesn't work if you just scroll to an area.) Then log in to CBS All Access, and click Live TV to stream the local broadcast from the desired area.
The CBS affiliate Jeopardy airtimes (1 per time slot) are below, in order. Credit goes to Matt Carberry for compiling the whole list..
Market Station Time (local) Time Zone Time (eastern)
Montgomery-Selma WAKA 9:30 AM C 10:30 AM
Quincy-Hannibal-Keokuk KHQA 12:00 PM C 1:00 PM
Birmingham (Anniston & Tuscaloosa) WIAT 3:30 PM C 4:30 PM
San Antonio KENS 4:30 PM C 5:30 PM
Fargo-Valley City KVLY-DT2 5:00 PM C 6:00 PM
Twin Falls KMVT 4:30 PM M 6:30 PM
Columbus, OH WBNS 7:00 PM E 7:00 PM
Boston (Manchester) WBZ 7:30 PM E 7:30 PM
Albuquerque-Santa Fe KRQE 6:00 PM M 8:00 PM
Colorado Springs-Pueblo KKTV 6:30 PM M 8:30 PM
Las Vegas KLAS 7:00 PM P 10:00 PM
Honolulu KGMB 4:30 PM H^ 10:30 PM
Troubleshooting: The extension's map location look-up function stopped working for me (even after a reinstall) so I have to manually locate the city I want by zooming out and scrolling around on the map, but that's a minor inconvenience. Also, you may have to delete cookies when you switch locations; otherwise CBS All-Access doesn't register the new location. I use Chrome as my primary browser and Firefox only to watch CBS All Access, so I just have the Firefox privacy settings to delete all cookies every time I shut down the program. Unfortunately, that means I have to log in to CBS All Access every time, but it works.
Also, as some have pointed out, local airings will sometimes be pre-empted for sports. Most prime time airings have multiple options, so check the whole list (linked above) if the first station you try isn't airing it. Just make sure it's a CBS station.
Update from mfc248: The caret ^ next to Honolulu's time zone designation denotes that Hawaii, like Arizona, does not observe Daylight Saving Time. Thus, between the first Sunday in November and the second Sunday in March (generally 18 weeks), 4:30 pm Hawaii time translates to 9:30 pm Eastern - and none of the other stations airing the show at 10:30 ET are affiliated with CBS.
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Game Thread: San Antonio Commanders (3-2) @ Atlanta Legends (2-3)

San Antonio Commanders at Atlanta Legends

First Second Third Fourth Final
Commanders 6 20 3 8 37
Legends 0 6 0 0 6
Coverage
CBS Sports Network - aaf.com
  • Top performers
Passing Cmp/Att Yds Tds Ints
L.Woodside SA 17/23 164 2 0
D.Vaughan SA 0/2 0 0 0
A.Murray ATL 30/41 215 1 3
P.Pujals ATL 4/6 17 0 0
Rushing Car Yds Lng Tds
K.Farrow, II SA 9 35 13 1
T.Williams SA 6 32 18 0
B.Radcliff ATL 6 24 7 0
A.Murray ATL 4 14 8 0
Receiving Rec Yds Lng Tds
C.Clear SA 5 45 15 0
M.McKay SA 3 37 18 1
E.Rodriguez SA 1 33 33 1
D.Ayers SA 2 18 10 0
K.Towbridge ATL 5 42 18 0
S.Jones ATL 6 38 16 0
M.Jones ATL 3 35 22 0
J.Quick ATL 2 31 17 0
Kicking Att Made Blocked Lng
N.Rose SA 1 1 0 23
  • Team Stats
Commanders Legends
Pass/Rush yards 153/81 225/65
First downs 14 17
Time of Possession 25:43 34:17
Third down conv. 3/11 5/15
Penalties (yds) 6 (48) 10 (66)
Turnovers lost (int-fumble) 0-0 3-1
2pt. conversions 2/5 0/1
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Post Game Thread: San Antonio Commanders (2-2) @ Birmingham Iron (3-1)

San Antonio Commanders at Birmingham Iron

First Second Third Fourth Final
Commanders 3 0 6 3 12
Iron 0 3 0 8 11
Coverage
CBS Sports Network - aaf.com
  • Game Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds Tds Ints
L.Woodside SA 11/25 106 0 0
L.Perez BIR 19/39 202 0 2
Rushing Car Yds Lng Tds
K.Farrow, II SA 30 142 26 0
T.Williams SA 4 20 12 1
B.Ross BIR 9 64 16 0
T.Richardson BIR 8 15 6 1
Receiving Rec Yds Lng Tds
G.Ward, Jr. SA 2 24 13 0
D.Ayers SA 2 21 19 0
M.McKay SA 2 19 13 0
W.Saxton, Jr. BIR 3 54 22 0
T.Richardson BIR 5 37 19 0
L.Washington BIR 3 35 16 0
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Post Game Thread: Orlando Apollos (2-0) @ San Antonio Commanders (1-1)

Orlando Apollos at San Antonio Commanders

First Second Third Fourth Final
Apollos 0 17 3 17 37
Commanders 12 6 11 0 29
Coverage
CBS Sports Network
  • Game Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds Tds Ints
G.Gilbert ORL 19/28 393 2 0
L.Woodside SA 20/39 223 1 1
Rushing Car Yds Lng Tds
D.Johnson ORL 8 57 19 0
K.Farrow, II SA 13 74 15 1
Receiving Rec Yds Lng Tds
C.Johnson ORL 7 192 54 1
J.Marshall ORL 3 84 57 1
D.Ayers SA 5 80 29 0
M.McKay SA 2 36 29 0
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Post Game Thread: San Antonio Commanders (4-2) @ Atlanta Legends (2-4)

San Antonio Commanders at Atlanta Legends

First Second Third Fourth Final
Commanders 6 20 3 8 37
Legends 0 6 0 0 6
Coverage
CBS Sports Network - aaf.com
  • Top performers
Passing Cmp/Att Yds Tds Ints
L.Woodside SA 17/23 164 2 0
D.Vaughan SA 0/2 0 0 0
A.Murray ATL 30/41 215 1 3
P.Pujals ATL 4/6 17 0 0
Rushing Car Yds Lng Tds
K.Farrow, II SA 9 35 13 1
T.Williams SA 6 32 18 0
B.Radcliff ATL 6 24 7 0
A.Murray ATL 4 14 8 0
Receiving Rec Yds Lng Tds
C.Clear SA 5 45 15 0
M.McKay SA 3 37 18 1
E.Rodriguez SA 1 33 33 1
D.Ayers SA 2 18 10 0
K.Towbridge ATL 5 42 18 0
S.Jones ATL 6 38 16 0
M.Jones ATL 3 35 22 0
J.Quick ATL 2 31 17 0
Kicking Att Made Blocked Lng
N.Rose SA 1 1 0 23
  • Team Stats
Commanders Legends
Pass/Rush yards 153/81 225/65
First downs 14 17
Time of Possession 25:43 34:17
Third down conv. 3/11 5/15
Penalties (yds) 6 (48) 10 (66)
Turnovers lost (int-fumble) 0-0 3-1
2pt. conversions 2/5 0/1
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Game Thread: San Diego Chargers (1-3) at Oakland Raiders (3-1)

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
First Second Third Fourth Final
Chargers 0 10 14 7 31
Raiders 3 6 18 7 34
  • General information
Coverage Odds
CBS Oakland -3½ O/U 51
Weather
68°F/Wind 0mph/Partly cloudy/0% chance of rain
Headlines Communities
Wallace fined for taunting call that cost the Ravens, too /oaklandraiders
Injury roundup: Chargers' Antonio Gates set to play /chargers
  • Game Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds Ints Tds
D.Carr 25/40 317 1 2
P.Rivers 21/30 359 2 4
Rushing Car Yds Lng Tds
J.Richard 8 31 7 0
M.Gordon 16 69 24 0
Receiving Rec Yds Lng Tds
A.Cooper 6 138 64 1
T.Benjamin 7 117 54 0
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Game Thread: San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Indianapolis Colts (0-2)

San Diego Chargers at Indianapolis Colts
First Second Third Fourth Final
Chargers 0 13 6 3 22
Colts 10 3 7 6 26
  • General information
Coverage Odds
CBS Indianapolis -1 O/U 51
Weather
82°F/Wind 4mph/Clear sky/0% chance of rain
Headlines Communities
Chargers-Colts creating strange dynamics in Las Vegas /colts
With Antonio Gates doubtful, Chargers call up a tight end /chargers
  • Game Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds Ints Tds
A.Luck 24/37 331 1 1
P.Rivers 26/39 330 0 0
Rushing Car Yds Lng Tds
F.Gore 21 82 19 1
M.Gordon 16 35 7 1
Receiving Rec Yds Lng Tds
T.Hilton 8 174 63 1
T.Benjamin 4 82 43 0
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Countdown to Kickoff 2019: Portland Timbers

Countdown to Kickoff 2019: Portland Timbers

Basic Info:

Club Name: Portland Timbers
Location: Portland, Oregon
Stadium: Providence Park. Currently undergoing privately-funded renovations until 6/1.
Head Coach: Giovanni Savarese (2nd year)
Captain: Diego Valeri
Owner: Peregrine Sports, LLC
CEO/Majority Owner: Merritt Paulson
USL Affiliate: Timbers 2
Kits:

2018 in Review

Final Standings: 15-10-9 (W-L-D), 54 pts, +5 GD, 5th in the West
If you were living under a rock and wanted to know what occurred during the 2018 Portland Timbers Season, look no further than the 3-2 victory of Sporting KC in the Western Conference Finals 2nd leg. In so many ways, this match was a microcosm of the season as whole. At times, the Timbers were dull, uninspiring, and sometimes hapless, and at other points, you’d see moments of sheer brilliance from some of the league’s brightest superstars. For stretches of the season, the team would appear rock solid and tough to break down, reeling off 15 unbeaten from from April 14 - August 4. However, that stretch would be bookended by 5 games winless and 4 games winless at the start and end of the season, respectively. And just as hopes for a successful playoff push began to slip after a dreary nil-nil performance against FC Dallas in late September, the Green-and-Gold rattled off two blowout wins against RSL to secure their first ever even-year playoff berth.
With this newly-(re)acquired confidence, the 10-man Timbers escaped a knockout round match in Dallas on the back of a Diego Valeri brace, setting up a heavyweight showdown with Seattle in the WC Semifinals. The first leg ended 2-1 in favor of the Rose City, but this match, while fairly entertaining, would be overshadowed by the pure, unrefined, 8-ball of MLS-yness that the 2nd leg served up. The match, which was originally scheduled for the following Sunday, was moved to a Thursday night due to the Seattle International Car Show. The first half though? Completely unforgettable. The second half and extra time? I could go on for this whole preview. For the sake of brevity, I encourage you to sample some it for yourself.
As Sam Stejskal stated, the “Wildest, craziest, worst, best, most MLS game of all-time and it finished at damn near 2 am ET on a Friday morning because of the Seattle International Car Show. Never forget.” Valium wasn’t enough.
A few weeks later, we hit the aforementioned 2nd leg match-up at Sporting Kansas City. As Blanco rifled home an an absolute corker, and Valeri converted two sucker punches, it was suddenly clear this underdog, scrappy, and mercurial side was on its way to MLS Cup. Ultimately, the challenge against Atlanta United proved to be too much, as the Timbers succumbed to the Five Stripes 2-0, but getting there was well worth the ride.
In the end, the 2018 Timbers were a paradox. Almost always an underdog, but possessed three of the best players in the league. Lucky to be in the final, but still deserving at the same time. Nevertheless, 2018, even though it didn’t finish the way we all had hoped, will always be a cherished season in the Rose City.

The Coach

The credit goes to now 2nd year manager Giovanni Savarese, who I view as embodiment of the organization as a whole. He might not have the biggest name in global soccer, but he’s got a chip on his shoulder, is extremely passionate for the sport, and wants to throw his weight around with the big boys in the league.
The former Venezuelan int’l tinkered with the lineup throughout the season, as he started with a 4-2-3-1 press, mixed in a 5-4-1 and 4-3-2-1, before returning back to the 4-2-3-1 during the playoff push. His ultra-pragmatic style ruffled a few feathers in the Timbers fanbase which had become accustomed to more enterprising soccer during the Caleb Porter era, but he knew defensive rigidity would provide the foundation for success. Let’s put it this way: in the two years the Timbers solidified its defense, the squad went to MLS Cup.
Will Gio return to pragmatic soccer, or will he try to reinstall a medium press that really didn’t work effectively? Rumor has it that Savarese is attempting to push the line up a bit more, but I’d be surprised to see it stick around based on the relatively unathletic backline plus an aging core.

Departures

Liam Ridgewell (CB): 2018 was a rollercoaster season for Ridgy. After being mentally absent during two bad losses at the beginning of March, Ridgewell was physically absent from the team for most of March to August after a ‘difference in opinion’ with Savarese (injuries played a part as well). During this time, his wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, but you could tell the former captain still spent those few months disheartened to not feature on the pitch. And let’s be clear, for all of his faults on and off the field, the man changed the course of our franchise. After years of dealing with a sieve of a backline (ft. superstars like Hanyer Mosquera, Raushawn McKenzie, Danny O’Rourke, and more), Ridgewell plugged the leaks and eventually captained the side to MLS Cup. The end of 2018 proved to be more of the same as he avoided tearing everything in his lower body and helped lead the team back to MLS Cup. Unfortunately, his tenure in green-and-gold ended after the cup final, but he should never have to buy a drink again in PDX. And boy does he love a drink or two (or seven).
Alvas Powell (RB): Few players in MLS regressed to the extent that Alvas Powell has since his very strong 2015 campaign. After playing a key role on the way to MLS Cup 2015, he failed to live up to his potential without Nat Borchers by his side. From 2016-2018, his suspect crossing never improved, he relied far too much on recovery speed, and he could never quite string together consistent performances.
We all wish Alvas the best of luck in Cincinnati. He’s a great kid, and we watched him grow and mature into the confident and funny presence he is today. However, with the amount of talent and athleticism he possesses, there’s no reason Zarek Valentin should have beaten him out for the starting RB spot once Villafaña returned from Santos Laguna. At 24, the Jamaican int’l can still revitalize his career with Alan Koch’s men, but he is at serious risk of becoming another case of “what if” if his stint in Cincy proves unsuccessful.
Samuel Armenteros (ST): One of the many TAM signings of the 2018 offseason, the Swedish int’l joined the club on loan from Serie A misfit Benevento. For a period of time from mid-May to mid-July, Armenteros was unconscious in front of goal. With a cultured left-foot and a penchant for Bergkamp-esque magic, we all thought replacing the recently-offloaded Fanendo Adi was a non-issue. However, things went south from there - and as I’ve heard, it wasn’t necessarily a fault of his own. With no break for over a year or more, his body simply began to break down, and soon enough the writing of his departure was on the wall. Even as Jeremy Ebobisse and Lucas Melano took over his spot in the squad, Armenteros remained an upbeat presence in the locker room and celebrated the club’s triumphs like one of the key contributors . In the end, we’ll be left to wonder what a break and another full season could’ve done for him.
Jake Gleeson (GK) : The big Kiwi’s departure means no Timbers remain from 2011’s inaugural season opener. Even with his big frame and the occasional spectacular, sprawling save, Gleeson never could quite control his penalty area or produce accurate distribution out of the back. Through a double whammy of injuries and an in-form Jeff Attinella, Gleeson’s tenure really ended back in mid-April but was officially announced this offseason with little fanfare. The rumor mill suggests he’s still sticking around Portland, so perhaps he may find a way back into the organization in an off-the-field capacity. Either way, for the first time since 2010, the Timbers will begin a professional season without Gleeson amongst its goalkeeping ranks.
Lawrence Olum (CDM): The “Kenyan Messi” departs after two years of spot duty at CB and CDM for the club. Some of us give the man a bad rap based on his inability to do much more than pass backwards and occupy space that would be otherwise seized by opposing attackers, but he wasn’t disastrous. In the end, after accumulating 52 appearances for the Timbers over the past two seasons, the next phase in Olum’s career commences.
Victor Arboleda (RM/LM): Arboleda departs after featuring mostly for Timbers 2 over the past few seasons. Outside of blistering pace, the young Colombian never displayed an ample skill-set to break into the league. There was some hope that he’d be the first T2 player to make a consequential impact on the first team, but any remaining hope was lost when he was ousted to make room for the incoming Tomas Conechny.
Jack Barmby (LM/CAM): The left-footed Englishman ends an inconspicuous three-year stint with Portland after not showing much to suggest he’s capable of playing at an MLS level. He recently joined USL outfit San Antonio FC and figures to be a part of SAFC’s plans at least for this season. Other than that, I don’t really have much to say - and that kinda says it all.
Has been training with the squad and still could be re-signed:
Roy Miller (CB): Throughout his MLS career, the Costa Rican has been the center of a few notable memes and running jokes. However, in 2017, he put together a pretty darn good season at CB before shredding his achilles the day before a crucial 2nd leg playoff matchup vs Houston. Consequently, he missed all of the 2018 season barring a few appearances with T2. I fully expected that would be the last we saw of Miller in Timbers green, but he’s been ever present in preseason training camp (although at LB...which is not his best spot). Roy is highly respected in the locker room, so I would not be shocked if he re-signed as a depth piece on a short-term deal.

2019 Outlook:

In one word: continuity. As of right now, I would imagine 9 or 10 starters from MLS Cup will walk out onto the pitch March 2 in Colorado, with the core of Valeri, Chara, Blanco, Mabiala, and more expected to produce big moments once again. However, with Providence Park undergoing renovations to incorporate an extra 4,000 seats, the Timbers will have to weather 12-straight road tests before taking on LAFC on June 1 in its cacophonous cauldron of a home. With the exception of a disastrous 2016, the Timbers are amongst the league’s best on the road since 2013, but 12 on the bounce is a daunting task for even the most battle-tested squads.
Extended road swings are no rarity in this league, and D.C. United proved a little momentum and a chunk of home games can catapult a team up the standings. From August 10 - September 25, the Timbers will have an opportunity to emulate the Black-and-Red as 10 teams venture into Providence Park during this stretch. The compacted 2019 schedule will likely prove to be an additional hurdle for an aging core, and no doubt the squad’s depth will be tested throughout the year. But even with these external factors, this team is talented enough to qualify for the playoffs, and anything less than the 7th seed will be a considerable failure.

Acquisitions:

Claude Dielna (CB): This one is puzzling to me. For a club known for scouring the globe to find and acquire talent, resorting to signing an intra-league defender (who was frozen out of the lineup from July 15 on) to a TAM contract seems….odd. I can understand the logic to a certain extent: as a left-footed, veteran presence, he could be an easy plug-and-play for the departed Liam Ridgewell. Additionally, as a Francophone, he’s immediately developed a connection with fellow defenders Larrys Mabiala and Bill Tuiloma, who also spent their youth careers in France. Ultimately, this change of scenery could prove to be more fruitful than his tenure in New England, however, the 31-year old Frenchman has played exclusively with the 2nd team during preseason. And he certainly didn’t look great when he was utterly shook by Adam Jahn of all people.
Jorge Moreira (RB): The most recent and likely the biggest (for now) offseason acquisition, Jorge Moreira has the potential to be one of the top RBs in MLS. With an impressive pedigree as a former River Plate regular and full Paraguayan int’l, Moreira will likely augment an already fearsome attack with a more attack-minded approach than Zarek Valentin. However, questions linger about his ability to adjust to MLS, in addition to concerns over a recent knee injury that sidelined him from October 2017 - August 2018. That said, with roughly 15 other native Spanish speakers amongst the squad (including 9 South Americans), I’m not extremely worried about his ability to acclimate to the team. Additionally, his injury seems to be a burden of the past and could be a blessing for Timbers supporters - he was a key contributor for one of this hemisphere’s biggest clubs, but the injury and subsequent youth movement/rise of Gonzalo Montiel allowed the Timbers to swoop in and sign him. Expect to see Valentin start the season to ease Moreira into the swing of things, but he should be the starter from then on.
Marvin Loría (LM/RM/CAM): There’s high hopes that Marvin Loría can make the transition between T2 and the first team even when others like Victor Arboleda have struggled to do so. The 21-year-old Costa Rican, who received his first national team cap against the US back in January, has a cultured left foot and doesn’t hesitate to rip from distance. However, he’s still very much a work in progress, and he’ll have to learn to cope with MLS level athleticism and quality while over-relying on his left foot. The door is open for him though - if Andy Polo fails hold down a starting spot, Loría could be right there to slot in.
Renzo Zambrano (CM): Another signing from T2, the Venezuelan int’l provides additional depth to the central midfield. In an appearance or two in the Open Cup, Zambrano looked the part of an MLS quality player, but he has a ways to go before overtaking Chara, Guzman, Paredes, or even Andres Flores. The T2 captain led the USL side in interceptions, tackles, and duels won, so if he can continue to grow in its engine room this season, Zambrano could be a potential solution for filling Chara’s shoes in the future.
Aljaz Ivačič (GK): The 25-year-old Slovenian int’l was acquired with an eye towards the future. After 43 appearances for Olimpija Ljubljana in his native country, Ivačič makes the switch across the Atlantic in search of a new challenge. However, shortly after arriving, the Timbers medical staff uncovered a leg injury that required surgery and will knock him out of training for the next 6-8 weeks. Fortunately, the front office was able to renegotiate around $200,000 off his original transfer fee because of it. With Steve Clark and Kendall McIntosh already on the roster, his inclusion in the team is not paramount, so this will be a guy to definitely keep an eye on for the upcoming seasons.
___ ____ (ST): ___ ____ is the designated player we were promised to be signing this offseason, but has yet to materialize. At first, the rumor mill churned out potential targets like Julian Quiñones and Ezequiel Ponce, but neither report evolved into anything substantial. As word began to travel that Gavin Wilkinson and co. were searching for a higher profile target, we were treated to accounts of a significant bid for Tigres forward, Eduardo Vargas. However, the Timbers were willing to spend $8.5mil while Tigres wanted a whopping $12.5mil, so Wilkinson and Paulson rightly balked at the offer.
So, we’re back to the drawing board with one week until kickoff. The club has been consistent and adamant, really since before MLS Cup, about wanting a DP attacker that will complement Ebobisse and elevate the rest of the squad. The championship window for the core is closing soon, and to be quite honest, Jebo still isn’t enough to maximize the team’s potential. The transfer window doesn’t end until May 7, but the likelihood of acquiring a high-profile player gets slimmer by the day. In the end, the Timbers may have to wait until the summer window when more players are available, although more suitors will emerge as well.

A word on everyone else:

Goalkeepers:
Jeff Attinella (GK): 2018 was a career year for Jeff, Jeff, Jeff. After years behind Nick Rimando and a one-year battle with Jake Gleeson, Attinella finally cemented himself as the #1 in April 2018. Apart from a few rare mishaps, Attinella was a solid and calming demeanor between the pipes, and his distribution out of the back was an understated catalyst for a deadly counter-attacking side. Now, he’ll enter 2019 as the undisputed starter which creates a whole new array of expectations for someone whose career has been defined by overcoming adversity.
For more on the man in net, I highly, highly recommend this podcast he did with Zarek Valentin. Timbers fan or not, it highlights the journey it takes to make it in MLS, and also provides a few intriguing insights into the likes of Nick Rimando and Tim Melia. Sometimes it’s difficult to appreciate that these players are just normal guys, but this interview does a tremendous job of teasing that out.
Steve Clark (GK): Some say Steve Clark has been a Timber since December 2015 even though he only arrived in August 2018 (sorry Crew fans). The MLS veteran keeper spelled Jeff Attinella in a few injury-relief appearances down the stretch and came up with a timely save or two. However, at this point in his career, Clark is nothing more than a solid backup, but he seems to enjoy Portland, so we’re glad to have him around.
Kendall McIntosh (GK): McIntosh is an undersized goalkeeper whose frame and athleticism is reminiscent of the likes of Nick Rimando. He’s been a career T2 netminder and is still very raw, but he’ll likely stick around with the first team until Ivačič returns from injury rehab. Expect him to be loaned back to T2 or to a lower league club elsewhere to gain experience when the Slovenian returns.
Defenders:
Zarek Valentin (RB/LB): Zarek Valentin is still the epitome of serviceable, and it has allowed him to carve out a pretty decent MLS career in spite of his lack of top-end footspeed. Probably one of the most outgoing and eccentric personalities on the team, Valentin’s value is just as present in the locker room as it is on the pitch, and he’ll continue to grow as a veteran leader this season. Valentin produces starter quality minutes at both fullback positions, but his low ceiling, particularly going forward and dealing with pacey wingers, means he’ll be fighting for time again in 2019. That said, we say the same thing coming into every year, and when all is said and done, Zarek has always found a way to contribute on the pitch.
Larrys Mabiala (CB): 2019 is a big year for the French-Congolese central defender. While he had his missteps as all centerbacks do, 2018 was generally a good year for Mabiala who bagged 5 goals and 2700+ minutes in one of the better defenses in Timbers’ history. His aerial presence and physicality gives trouble to even the Chad Marshalls and Kendall Wastons of the world, but the former PSG academy player is not the quickest over ground or the most vocal presence on the pitch. In particular, his vocal leadership will be tested this season without Liam Ridgewell’s boisterous and commanding nature beside him. It’s rare to find a moment where Mabiala doesn’t have the biggest smile or most upbeat attitude in the locker room, but he’s more of the type to go about his business in an understated manner. With the strenuous road stretch ahead, his play on the pitch and leadership on the backline will be put under a microscope. I think he can handle it, but it won’t be easy.
Bill Tuiloma (CB): Although Julio Cascante appears to have the edge based on preseason, the big Kiwi would be my pick to regularly start alongside Larrys Mabiala. After a few years with Marseille’s reserve sides, Tuiloma arrived as a T2 signing in 2017, but played in some crucial matches last season including the playoff 1st leg vs Seattle and 2nd leg @ Sporting KC. Outside of a few poor clears, he was solid when given the opportunity, and his better range and ability to pick out line-splitting passes are key assets to fit alongside Mabiala’s physical presence. In a lot of ways, he reminds me of an Aaron Long type player: a young, low salary, converted CDM who works his way up into an important role on the backline. His Francophone chemistry with Mabiala and Dielna may also serve him well, but anything over 700 first team minutes would be a new frontier for Tuiloma. Even though he will begin the season on the bench, expect him to mount a real challenge for the starting spot over the course of the year..
Julio Cascante (CB): After an inconsistent 2018 campaign, Cascante has emerged as the anticipated starter alongside Mabiala to the surprise of many. As I mentioned in Larrys’ blurb, all centerbacks make notable mistakes based on the nature of their position, but Cascante’s were usually more notable and more frequent. His height and build forges a formidable aerial pairing with Mabiala, but also causes him to struggle to sort his feet out in pressure-filled situations. Generally speaking, CB is a problematic position to have an unsettled rotation, and few Timbers’ fans have confidence that Cascante has the dependability to hold down the LCB spot on a regular basis. However, as the Costa Rican embarks on the prime of his career with a season under his belt and a surprising fluency in English, perhaps he will be the pleasant surprise of the year.
Jorge Villafaña (LB): El Sueño returned from a brief adventure in Mexico last August and put together a dependable if unremarkable end to the 2018 season. In many ways, Portland is home to the US int’l, as the Timbers picked him up as a Chivas USA outcast in 2014, and gave him an opportunity to become the best LB in club history. While he lacks ideal stature and athleticism, his crossing ability is second to none, and he offers a more dangerous attacking arsenal than Zarek Valentin. Like Valentin though, he struggled with pacey wingers ala Michael Barrios and hasn’t quite replicated the peak of his 2015 campaign where he consistently locked down the defensive left side. At 29, Jorge still has a few more good years left in his legs, but with Zarek hot on his heels, any dip in form could see him in an intense competition for a starting spot.
Marco Farfan (LB): I was pretty high on the Homegrown LB coming into 2018, but Farfan did not take the next step in his development last year. Again, he battled with injuries, and when he was given the opportunity to start at the beginning of last year, he struggled to keep up with the pace of the game. As the 20-year-old enters this campaign firmly behind Villafaña and Valentin on the depth chart, he’ll have his work cut out for him to convince the staff that he’s worthy of game action. However, Jeremy Ebobisse emerged from a similar situation last year - we’ll see if Farfan can stay fit enough to do the same.
Modou Jadama (CB/RB): After only one first team appearance in 2018, the Gambian shouldn’t feature too often this season. He provides cheap depth at both right back and center back, but will mostly be tasked with leading T2’s backline this year.
Midfielders:
Diego Valeri (CAM): There’s not much to say about the Maestro that hasn’t already been said. A top class player and an even better human being, Valeri will go down as one of the greatest signings in MLS history. After an MVP season with 21G and 12A in 2017, his production dropped off to 10G and 12A last season, although the dip could be attributed to a change of style and formation. Timbers fans and neutrals will certainly hope to see more of vintage Valeri whose direct and progressive style is eye candy to soccer lovers everywhere. In this house, we worship at the Church of Diego. Build the statue.
Sebastian Blanco (LM/RM): Sebastian Blanco is the human manifestation of when a smaller dog picks a fight with another dog 4x its size. But his temperamental and fierce nature on the pitch can only be matched by his moments of pure inspiration. Only the Timbers can boast that it had two double-digit G + A players last season, and as good as Valeri was again, Blanco probably outperformed him on the year. Left foot, right foot, or even with his head, the diminutive Argentine winger consistently uncorks bangers, and I’d expect to see more of the same in 2018. He’s the guy you’d hate to play against, but love to have on your team, and we’re certainly glad to see him on our side.
David Guzman (CDM): Matt Doyle on ETR said it best: Guzman’s an experienced 28-year-old with the erratic swings of a 19-year-old. From March to May 2017, he looked like the classic holding #6 to fit like a glove next to the ground-covering ability of Diego Chara. The rest of 2017? Almost a complete liability with the aggression of an angry bull and positional awareness of a lost child. After sustaining an injury that left him out of the rotation for much of Spring 2018, Guzman went to Russia with the Costa Rican national team and came back almost an entirely different player. During the stretch run, he appeared to have simplified his game, produced timely attacking support, and completely pantsed Michael Bradley. No doubt his sudden ascent to form helped propel the Timbers to MLS Cup, hinting at his importance to the team operating at an optimal level. However, relying on Guzman’s consistency is not an enviable position, so I’ll continue to hold stock in Cristhian Paredes.
Diego Chara (CDM): When I mentioned we worship at the Church of Diego, I didn’t just mean Valeri. At this point in his career, Chara has been mentioned perennially as the league’s most underrated player, but yet he’s still probably underrated somehow. Even with Valeri’s 2017 MVP season, the Colombian pitbull has continued to be (arguably) the team’s MVP every year, as Portland has not won any of the last 19 matches that Chara has not participated in. He has the ability to chase down Miguel Almiron, a pillowy first touch, an immense soccer IQ, and a fearless presence in the middle of the park - all qualities that make him the team’s most indispensable player. Although he’s shown Energizer Bunny levels of stamina and resolve, father-time is still undefeated. I don’t have any doubts about the soon-to-be 33-year-old’s ability to perform this season, but at some point someone will have to try to replicate his priceless productivity. Build the statue parte dos.
Andrés Flores (CM): Andres Flores is like a Toyota Camry - solid if unspectacular. He’s doesn’t have the sexy style that will garner all the attention, but when push comes to shove and you need to get from point A to point B, he’ll do the job. The El Salvadorian is an essential (and bilingual) piece in the locker room, and he has earned the trust of Savarese dating back to their time together at the New York Cosmos. Look for him to assist in spot-duty, but his most important contributions will likely be found in the little things off the pitch.
Cristhian Paredes (CM): For the first 3-4 months of the 2018 season, Cristhian Paredes was somewhere in between a good signing and a potential revelation in midfield. The young Paraguayan int’l was great over ground, calm on the ball, and look poised to be one of the season’s breakout players. Then, family tragedy struck. After his uncle passed away and Mom got sick, homesickness and guilt from being so far away from home hampered his play on the field. Still only a teenager and unable to speak English, his confidence faltered and was unable to clear the mental block necessary to get back in the team. This offseason, he was very open about his struggles, but he seems highly motivated to become a star on this team. Overall, his body looks more sculpted and his comfort with Gio and the squad will only improve. Who knows, maybe the 20-year-old will become one of the next big time transfers out of MLS.
Andy Polo (RM): With 1G, 2A in 1600 minutes, the Peruvian winger failed to produce anything substantial on the scoresheet during his first season in Portland. With that said, there’s two sides to the coin here. Yes, Polo needs to be more goal dangerous or at least find himself in more threatening spots to create gaps for his attacking partners. But a lot of what Polo brought to the table won’t always appear in the stats, as his defensive workrate and positioning was as impactful as we’ve ever seen from a Timbers winger. Year 2 will be big for Polo to show improvement, and no doubt his position as the RCM in a 4-3-2-1 and lengthy break to join Peru for the World Cup inhibited his inaugural campaign’s productivity. Although with Marvin Loría, Dairon Asprilla, Tomas Conechny, and possibly a new DP signing breathing down his neck, his leash may not be as long this season.
Tomas Conechny (LM/RM): When the former Argentine U-20 int’l arrived in Portland last summer, he accumulated only 79 minutes of first team action and frankly didn’t demonstrate much to elicit excitement. With an additional comfort with the city and the club, 2019 is bound to be different, and Conechny has shown glimpses of why the Timbers decided to renew his loan this preseason. Similar experiments with the likes of Jack Barmby have not yielded adequate results, though Conechny will still have the opportunity to establish himself as a vital depth piece.
Dairon Asprilla (RM): Also known as Señor noviembre, Dairon Asprilla is one of the league’s most inefficient high-volume shooters...unless he’s playing big time matches in November. After lacing this absolute belter vs Dallas in 2015 (in addition to a goal vs Houston in 2017), Asprilla continued his playoff hot streak with a equalizer and game winning PK conversion @ Seattle in that wacky 2nd leg. However, those moments pretty much highlighted Asprilla’s 2018. At this point, you know what you’re getting from the Colombian winger. Apart from occasional moments of magic, he’ll continue to struggle in front of net, although his energy and physicality will certainly push incumbent RM Andy Polo for game minutes. He’ll be an important depth piece, but if he’s forced to be anything more, the Timbers are in for a long season.
Eryk Williamson (CM): The 21-year-old former D.C. United Academy product spent half of last season on loan to Azorean club Santa Clara where he had limited involvement. I wouldn’t expect him to feature much this season, although he’ll have the opportunity to show himself in T2 matches. But hey, he’s Queen Latifah’s cousin.
Forwards:
Jeremy Ebobisse: A lot of people hopped aboard the Ebobisse hype train following a string of quality performances down the stretch. But make no mistake, the young American has to become more goal dangerous before he earns the complete trust and confidence of Savarese and the FO. His hold-up play is generally strong, and it’s not imperative that he puts in double-digit goals with Blanco and Valeri behind him. At the same time, it’s valid to wonder if his ceiling is high enough to maximize what may be the last year in the core’s championship window. The former 4th overall draft pick will have the opportunity to lead the line at least for the first few months, but the DP forward is bound to arrive sooner or later. If Ebobisse takes the next step in his development, the DP will step in alongside him in one of the most frightening attacks in the league. But if he doesn’t, he could be replaced and quickly forgotten. Twelve months ago, Jebo was buried behind Fanendo Adi and Samuel Armenteros with little hope of breaking into the first team. Now, he’s likely the opening day starter with MLS Playoff experience and two superstars to support him. The ball’s in his court. (He won the Tucson tourney golden boot so good start!)
Lucas Melano: The 2019 version of Lucas Melano might just challenge your preconceived notions of one of the biggest DP busts of the last half-decade. Melano’s first stint in Portland was marred by petulance, laziness, and an inability to convert in front of goal, all of which contributed to a 1.5 year exile back to Argentina. I’ll be the first to admit, I was fairly vocal about not wanting him back, but Melano has shown us something different since returning midseason. While he’s far from a clinical finisher and still has a Nagbe-esque distrust in his left foot, he seems to have a clearer picture of what he wants to do on the field. Part of that comes from a position switch from winger to striker, and part stems from comfort off the pitch. During his time in Argentina, Melano continued to take English classes with an eye on returning to Portland. He’s no longer a DP player with the pressure to perform like a DP, and his explosive pace will provide both a spark off the bench and a stark contrast to Ebobisse’s hold up style.
Foster Langsdorf (ST): After 14 goals in 29 appearances for T2 last season, the second-year Homegrown signing might have a slight chance of first team minutes until the DP signing arrives. A Stanford graduate who finished his collegiate career with the most goals in Pac-12 history, Langsdorf doesn’t possess a particularly imposing skillset but seems to just find himself in the right place at the right time. In that way, he’s almost a poor man’s Wondo, although it remains to be seen whether his poacher’s instinct is sufficient enough to cut it at this level.
Predicted Starting XI:
4-2-3-1
Best Case Scenario:
Valeri, Chara, and Blanco put up another Best XI caliber campaign. The backline is solid if not great, and one of Tuiloma, Cascante, or Dielna establishes themselves as a go-to CB option. Ebobisse takes the next step, and the younger side of the squad makes a big leap right alongside him. The Timbers comfortably exit its 12-game road excursion with 4 or 5+ wins and dismantles all opponents who dare to enter the cauldron that is Providence Park during the 10 game homestand. A top seed is secured for the playoffs and the late season momentum catapults the boys in green all the way back to MLS Cup.
Worst Case Scenario:
The large road trip takes its toll on the squad both in the standings and on the injury report. Valeri and/or Chara succumb to the death-grip of father time, while the backline is a rotating cast of suckitude. None of the young guns or new acquisitions are able to contribute effectively, and the Timbers can’t dig themselves out of a hole going down the stretch. Just like 2014 and 2016, Portland is unable to follow up a successful season with a playoff berth, and #GioOut and #GWOut become vogue amongst a passionate but melodramatic fanbase.
Realistic Scenario:
Probably somewhere in between. The record before June 1st is thrown out the window as the newly renovated Providence Park (and Gold Cup break) provide a critical refresher. Valeri and/or Blanco put up another double digit G/A season, while Chara is indispensable as ever. The backline is middle-of-the-road, but good enough to prop up an ever-potent attack. The Timbers finish somewhere between the 4th and 7th seed and provide another difficult challenge for the Western Conference’s higher seeds.
Prediction:
I’ll say 5th seed and upset or two in the playoffs before petering out. This team isn’t really constructed to compete for a Supporter’s Shield, but it’s a complete pain in the neck to confront in a playoff format. On any given day, Valeri and Blanco can take over a match, and if the Timbers acquire an Eduardo Vargas or Julian Quiñones, the front three of four will completely shred you to pieces on the counter. On the flipside, the backline doesn’t always inspire confidence, and David Guzman is a complete wild card in an important spot in the middle of the park. As a result, when all pieces are in-form, the Timbers can beat anyone, anywhere. When a few pieces are off-kilter, conceding three (bad) first half goals in Minnesota becomes a stark reality. Overall, it won’t be the end of the world, but it may be a disappointment in terms of potentially the core’s last hurrah.

Bonus predictions:

  • Timbers Army member, who claims to be an Active Supporter™, tweets out something to the effect of “I’m not supporting this club until significant changes are made” during a tough stretch early on. The use of the Rose City ‘Til I Die hashtag is still used unironically.
  • Following an egregious, match-deciding missed called by Ted Unkel, Merritt Paulson throws hands with a front office staffer attempting to prevent him from re-accessing his Twitter account
  • Sebastian Blanco whips out his celebratory Chucky mask following another sublime goal. A local ball-kid who is close to the action develops frequent nightmares as a result of the event.
  • After the final whistle of the first draw of the season, the squad deliberates with Zarek Valentin to ensure that penalty kicks are not to follow.
  • Lucas Melano attempts to use his left foot. The resulting product is so shocking that Timbers fans vow to never speak of it again. All who witnessed the disaster are scarred for eternity.

Online Resources

Official Links: Website | Twitter
Local Coverage: Oregon Live | Stumptown Footy
Best Podcast ft. Jeff Attinella and Zarek Valentin: From J to Z
Best Twitter follows: Jamie Goldberg | Chris Rifer | There’s also Richard Farley, the club’s official writer, but he often uses his “status” to act like a condescending prick before pseudo-apologizing in a patronizing and insincere manner. So, if that’s your thing, go ahead and give him a follow.
Subreddit: timbers

#RCTID

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Countdown to Kickoff 2019: Los Angeles Galaxy


Basic Info

Founded: 1996 (1994 on paper)
Years Active in MLS: Most of them
Years Passive in MLS: 2006, 2008, 2016-2018
Nicknames: Blue White and Gold, G’s, Los Galacticos (most common: G’s)
Stadium: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson CA (established 2003; renamed 2019)
Club Owner / Operator: Anschutz Entertainment Group
Club President: Chris Klein
Head Coach: Guillermo Barros Schelotto
USL Affiliate: LA Galaxy II, a.k.a. ‘G2’ a.k.a. ‘Los Dos’
First Team Captain: Zlatan Ibrahimović
Club History: As one of the founding members of Major League Soccer the Los Angeles Galaxy has a deep and established place in the heart of the American sport. Definitively the league’s most decorated and famous club, it has built its reputation through a series of high-profile celebrity player signings and innovative sporting strategy. Many of MLS’s now lauded evolutionary steps were pioneered by or in response to the infamous superclub ambition of the LA Galaxy.

2019 Roster

GOALKEEPERS: 1 David Bingham / 41 Justin Vom Steeg / Matt Lampson
DEFENDERS: 3 Diego Polenta / 4 Dave Romney / 5 Daniel Steres / 16 Jorgen Skjelvik / 20 Tomas Hilliard-Arce / 21 Hugo Arellano / 25 Rolf Feltscher
MIDFIELDERS: 2 Perry Kitchen / 7 Romain Alessandrini / 8 Jonathan dos Santos / 14 Servando Carrasco / 17 Sebastian Lletget / 18 Uriel Antuna / 24 Emmanuel Boateng / 26 Efrain Alvarez
FORWARDS: 9 Zlatan Ibrahimović / 10 Giovani dos Santos / 11 Ola Kamara / 19 Chris Pontius

Predicted Starting Formation and XI: 4-4-2
 Kamara Ibrahimović Antuna Pontius J. Dos Santos Alessandrini Skjelvik Polenta Steres Feltscher Bingham 

2018 Season Review

At some point near the end of 2016 after the departure of head coach Bruce Arena the chief executives of the Los Angeles Galaxy, President Chris Klein and General Manager Pete Vagenas, embarked upon a series of season-long experiments usually undertaken by Football Manager gamers with a sense for the absurd. Following 2017’s experiment of putting Giovani dos Santos in front of Jermaine Jones and a youth reserve squad and the subsequent worst season in club history they went into 2018 with a new idea “What if we take the worst team in MLS and give them one of the best players in the world?”

Result: The greatest bad team of the year, a chaotic and frustrating goalercoaster that came within one win of making MLS Cup playoffs only to stick the landing with a season-ending 200 dB shart.

Meanwhile for years supporters raised unheeded warnings about the coming expansion team known as Los Angeles Football Club, a cross-town iceberg directly in the path of the SS Galaxy. Even billionaire oligarch Phillip Anschutz has realized almost too late that the ship needs an emergency evasive turn.
Enter the 2019 experiment of the LA Galaxy: “What if we take last year’s team and give them one of those tough South American coaches?”

Under New Management

Klein and Vagenas have self-exiled to the boardroom and taking the helm is new General Manager Dennis Te Kloese. An actual sports management director is back in charge of the competitive-playing side of the business. The Admiral is on the bridge; all hands prepare for soccer!
In what is the LA Galaxy’s most significant offseason roster change they have acquired the brain trust of Argentine powerhouse and back-to-back Superliga champions Club Atlético Boca Juniors, led by head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto, assistant coach Gustavo (his twin brother) and chief trainer / painsmith Javier Valdecantos; plus an assortment of sinister CONMEBOL henchmen.
The Galaxy’s new ‘Boca Norte’ regime deserves a closer look.

PERFORMANCE COACH: Javier Valdecantos
The most interesting torturer in the world. Nicknamed ‘The Butcher' and/or 'The Assassin' Valdecantos is known for his ruthless fitness regimen gleaned from over 26 years of experience in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Mexico and Spain. The Assassin began his career as the personal trainer to Diego Maradona so there’s a good chance his character might show up in the next season of Netflix’s ‘NARCOS’.
A student of progressive sports science as well as old-fashioned cruelty, he implements cutting-edge tools and methods to hone player skills. Reportedly it is Valdecantos who has the final say in preseason friendly match roster selection. Despite his reputation he is a passionate player advocate and Galaxy team members are singing his praises in interviews. Ola Kamara, if you’re reading this blink twice if you want us to call the police.

ASSISTANT COACH: Gustavo Barros Schelotto
Buy one GBS and get the other for free. From what can be seen Gustavo appears to be the brother more involved with field training. After the February 9th 1-1 preseason friendly against Toronto FC he brought the team back out and ran them through post-match drills much to the satisfaction of Galaxy fans. You get at them, Gustavo; Saturday nights at the bar are for winners!

ASSISTANT COACH: Dominic Kinnear
Somehow the former San Jose Earthquakes and interim 2018 Galaxy coach—he of the infamous Decision Day choke job—has managed to remain a part of the coaching staff. A well-liked presence in the locker room, Kinnear’s focus will be on coordinating the Galaxy defense. Yeah moving on…

GENERAL MANAGER: Dennis Te Kloese
The former youth director for the Mexican National Team and before that an obscure Carson-based MLS franchise, DTK as G’s fans nicknamed him is charged with building professional rosters for all of the Los Angeles Galaxy teams. Gone is the era when the FO would cold-call European sports agents and ask which 2nd-Division washouts want to make almost a million dollars a year scoring own-golazos in sunny Los Angeles.
On his first day Dennis turned on a garden hose and shooed away all of the greasy hucksters loitering outside the corporate offices waiting for the next opportunity to steal the club’s precious TAM.

HEAD COACH: Guillermo Barros Schelotto
In line with Uncle Phil’s mandate to upgrade the LA Galaxy to MLS 3.0 certification the front office has hired the obligatory flashy championship-winning coach: 2008 MLS Cup champion (as a player) Guillermo Barros Schelotto. An intense and driven taskmaster on the rebound after a devastating Copa Libertadores loss, the former Boca Juniors coach is looking to bring his demanding standards to the city of sloth and traffic.
Team chemistry is key for the 2019 team as much as it was the kryptonite of the 2018 season. On the field the LA Galaxy speaks five languages—Spanish, English, French, Norwegian, and Bingham—but the lingua franca remains a pantomime of angry faces and pointing gestures at open spaces on the pitch. Teaching these players how to communicate plays will be GBS’s biggest challenge.

Offseason Roster Changes

The core of the 2018 team remains for the 2019 season but a few adjustments have been made.
Status Name Description
OUT Ashley Cole The Galaxy’s veteran left back and Team Captain has returned to England to retire on the beaches of Derby County whilst playing for a local ‘football’ club.
OUT Michael Ciani Former center back Ciani has gone to live on a nice farm upstate. No further questions.
OUT Baggio Husidic A long-term member of the G’s roster whose option expired, midfielder Husidic briefly joined a preseason camp with a local team before being released.
OUT Ariel Lassiter Galaxy reserve forward and Los Dos mainstay Lassiter was released in December and signed by Costa Rican club Alajuense.
OUT Sheanon Williams Emergency summer signing and warm body the Galaxy could stuff into its depleted backline, defender Sheanon Williams was released at the end of the 2018 season.
OUT Brian Sylvestre A 3rd choice goalkeeper who may or may not have appeared with Los Dos.
OUT ON LOAN Joao Pedro Oof. Once-promising midfielder turned Los Dos benchwarmer turned repeat loanee Joao Pedro is being moved around the world so that the G’s can use his international roster spot. His last known location was CD Tondela in Portugal.
OUT ON LOAN Bradford Jamieson IV Once considered a rising star in the Bruce Arena years, this injury-ravaged Attacking Midfielder is on his way to San Antonio FC in the USL.
IN Matt Lampson David Bingham being David Bingham, the Galaxy might need a backup goalkeeper. I don’t know why they didn’t just keep that one good one. Magee something or other.
IN Diego Polenta The first flexing of the international clout of GBS. See his entry elsewhere.
IN ON LOAN Uriel Antuna The first flexing of the international clout of DTK. See his entry elsewhere.
IN Juninho Everybody has that one well-worn article of clothing they slip into when they want to feel comfortable. Fan favorite depth midfielder Ju-Ju-Juninho is the G’s old sweatpants and it’s good to wear him again, nevermind the Chicago smell.

In addition there are a few young prospects on the bubble of getting a contract.
Predicted Squad Name Description
USL Team Emil Cuello 19th choice pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft, 22-year old SMU midfielder Emil Cuello has impressed in preseason matches against Toronto FC and Atlanta United.
USL Team Don Tchilao 36th choice pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft, 22-year old Oregon State forward Tchilao is destined for Los Dos. What, you think a college boy’s gonna take Zlatan’s job?
First Team Diedie Traore A young left back from France who impressed in last year’s open tryouts, the Galaxy II standout might be upgraded to the seniors for position depth.
First Team Julian Araujo This poor kid. He thinks this is his big break… and it is, the doomed fool; because Julian Araujo is a right back, a backup right back, and it is the most injury-cursed of all of the Galaxy’s positions. For him Hell will no longer hold any surprises.

Key Players

Zlatan Ibrahimović – Forward (Team Captain)
If you thought Galaxy fans would stop worshipping Zlatan, think again.
Last season’s temperamental savior and this year’s Team Captain has been placated with a renewed investment from Uncle Phil—personally with a new Designated Player contract of $7.5 million per year and clubwise with new coaches and a less-embarrassing squad of teammates. Zlatan didn’t come to America to fill his trophy cabinet with ‘Arizona Iced Tea Mucho Mango MLS Soccer Dude of the Week’ Awards. Whatever our league considers a championship he wants to own.
The Risk: Sophomore seasons from UEFA vets rarely fare well for the Galaxy. Both Steven Gerrard and Jelle Van Damme fell apart in their second year with the G’s, the former from age and the latter from homesickness / SoCal’s low-level atmospheric ennui. David Beckham in 2009 publicly begged A.C. Milan not to send him back to the filthy troglodytes in Los Angeles (we showed him, with a statue).
With Ibra the risk is he could get hit with any or all of the 2nd-year maladies.
The Reward: Once Europe flushed away Becks he put work into the Galaxy and earned his toys. Ibrahimović, already rejected abroad, is in the post-Milan Beckham phase of his career and dedicated to MLS. If his body holds up the Galaxy have an entire season’s worth of the services of a world-class icon.

Romain Alessandrini - Winger
The Platonic ideal of an LA Galaxy player, beloved-by-fans “Alessandreamy” combines hustle, grace, love for the crest, sharp passing and a hint of flair balanced with a certain hard-nosed strength.
2017’s silver lining spent 2018 in an emotional struggle with injuries and the bench, emerging at the end with his starting place returned but his Designated Player status jeopardized by Giovani dos Santos’s contract intrigues. If the Galaxy can hold onto Romain no one will benefit more from his presence than Zlatan Ibrahimović. Dreamy is literally God’s wingman.

Uriel Antuna - Winger
The benefit of hiring the youth director of the Mexican National Team as General Manager is that he comes already prepared to supply a Los Angeles soccer franchise with one of its most sought-after commodities. Meet Te Kloese’s first catch: 21-year old Manchester City prospect and El Tri hopeful Uriel Antuna, here in MLS on a season-long loan after doing a two-year stint with FC Groningen in the Dutch Eredivisie.
Simply put, from what we saw in the Toronto FC game DTK is stunting on his bosses by getting a rent-to-own 2020 TAM star and 2021 LigaMX payday.
Antuna is fast. With speeds approaching Ema Boateng levels alongside ball control skills at “way better than Boateng” he already represents an upgrade to the attack on the wings. Chasing down loose balls with the confidence of a man walking into Del Taco holding five dollars and making recovery tackles with the kamikaze bravery of that same man placing an order, Antuna’s chief weakness seems to be a lack of individual creativity once he gets in the opponent’s penalty box. Maybe time, coaching and chemistry with the forwards will unlock that final piece.
On the vast confetti-strewn plains of the Digs Antuna will be lethal. The human equivalent of a Macho Combo Burrito seasoned with ‘Del Scorcho’ sauce will punish on the transitions and provide fire to both ends.

Ola Kamara - Forward
The Art Garfunkel of LA’s ‘Simon & Garfunkel’ front two. It is patently unfair to dismiss Ola Kamara’s achievements, him being part of a strike duo with a combined over 500 goals and regular appearances in the UEFA Champions League.
Kamara’s talents as a goal poacher who sneaks into spaces deep inside the penalty box were largely unexploited during last year’s season (he did have his moments ). However this year with the inclusion of one Uriel Antuna on the left the Galaxy’s Norwegian Ninja might have found an assist-giving Garfunkel of his own. Count on Kamara improving upon his goal tally.

Giovani dos Santos - Attacking Midfielder
For the past two seasons midfield goldbricker Giovani dos Santos has been living out the plotline to the 1999 film ‘OFFICE SPACE’, about a corporate drone who stops caring about his workplace responsibilities and is subsequently promoted up the hierarchy.
To those who call these accusations unfounded here is my proof.
Year Apps Minutes Goals Asst $ per G+A
2015 11 894 3 5 $250,000
2016 37 3009 16 8 $177,083
2017 26 2280 6 4 $550,000
2018 14 825 3 2 $1,200,000
(Sad stat: While creating this table I just realized in 2018 my team paid Giovani dos Santos $7,272 per minute of playing time. In 2007 my team infamously paid an injured David Beckham $18,465 per minute during his self-admitted “nightmare” season.)
Meanwhile the Galaxy scored 61 league goals without him. His shift was being covered by Chris Pontius, Sebastian Lletget and his brother Jonathan dos Santos leaving him free to enjoy the Los Angeles lifestyle. With one year left on his contract he came into the offseason ready to sign an extension.
There’s just one problem: Zlatan Ibrahimović (22G, 10A, $699.95 per minute) wanted a raise and the divine avatar of testosterone needed a D.P. spot to go with it; and since the Galaxy made $63 million last year largely on the back of Ibra they were going to give him the D.P. spot. Giovani’s spot.
The rumor is Gio’s father tried to shop his son around LigaMX and got shot down. Journalists covering the Galaxy beat say the FO then offered to buy down Alessandrini’s D.P. contract with TAM to open the spot and Dreamy refused as a matter of pride (‘OFFICE SPACE’ callback: “No way! Why should I change? He’s the one who sucks.”). News reports state AEG has authorized the Galaxy to pay Dos Santos for the last year of his contract and cut him loose. And then came the whispers… of a ‘contract restructuring’.
Like an A-hole Jesus miraculously breaking one loaf of bread into a multitude of turds Giovani dos Santos has offered to restructure the last year of his $6 million D.P. contract into a 4-year, $1.5 million TAM extension. And the Galaxy seem ready to eat it.
Nobody but Gio—who’s made $17 million in MLS and plays soccer as a hobby--wants this deal. Franchise owners are outraged. It could blow up negotiations with the players’ union. Galaxy fans are cycling through the stages of grief and looking for omens in billboards and merchandise webpages. The league stands once more on the brink of chaos ready to condemn another LA-induced ‘rules innovation’. And the season begins in one week.
Hopefully this entire entry is completely irrelevant By March 1st. If not, Zlatan help us all.

Diego Polenta – Center Back
At long last the Galaxy may have found their defensive leader. Allow me to introduce you to the manimal responsible for making the G’s look like a professional team. Welcome to big boy country.
For once when the Galaxy say a player is an “international veteran” it isn’t a euphemism for older than dirt. 27-year old Uruguayan defender Diego ‘Patrón’ Polenta honed his skills for 6 years in Italy’s Serie B before going home to double-fist trophies with Nacional de Montevideo. The thinking man’s Hulk reportedly turned down lucrative offers from Leeds United and Club Atlas to embark upon a six-month Landon Donovacation into the countryside to clear his head, train and ponder what is the measure of a man.
For Galaxy Coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto, in need of a first-rate center back, only man’s absolute unit of measurement would suffice. Patrón answered the call.
Unfortunately Valdecantos is still reforging Diego’s match fitness but what has been witnessed so far is hype fuel. Polenta is a calming presence in the backline giving teammates the freedom to push ahead. Less a meat cleaver and more a Ginsu knife he can gently slice the ball from his opponent with a single quiet step. We’ll have to wait to see him saw through the metaphorical lead pipe.
He also commands his personal space with the fortitude of an experienced CONMEtooBOL survivor. Note to other teams: This year you won’t score on the Galaxy via aggravated sexual assault.
The big man has a big brain and an uncanny vision to spot opposing plays rarely found in Galaxy defenders. Daniel Steres believes Diego has “the shining”.

Jorgen Skjelvik – Left Back
Every season there’s one Galaxy player who makes unhappy fans eat their words. The ‘Suck It, Haters!’ MVP of last year was Chris Pontius; this year the betting money is on defender Jorgen Skjelvik.
Forming an ill-matched CB partnership with Michael Ciani last year Skjelvik, who reportedly played left back for 3 years in Norway, always looked confused and unhappy. “Dette er ikke min posisjon,” Jorgen insisted, a statement repeated by center forward turned left winger Ola Kamara. Everyone assumed it was a traditional Norwegian greeting.
With Ashley Cole gone it seems the G’s have no choice but to make a left back play at left back. And guess what: Skjelvik might be okay at left back. Jorgen now looks more confident on the ball and is pressing up the field overlapping with Antuna. He should have a much happier 2019 and make all of his doubters look like fools. Folks, Rosetta Stone works.

Best Case Scenario

Last year’s squad, saddled with injuries and suspicious pre-World Cup ‘injuries’, was ranked 17th in MLS for shots but 3rd for goals scored; if you took out penalty goals the Galaxy were 2nd. In regular season games the G’s were held scoreless only three times, the same as Atlanta United and LAFC. LA’s success rate of shots on goal to goals scored: 38%. Unrivaled.
Zlatan’s “I am a lion” shtick is modesty; in the wild they only hunt at a 25% kill rate.
All of that firepower is coming back. Now imagine instead of 17th for shots taken the Galaxy are 10th or even 4th. That would be an 80 goal season.
MLS is a league where momentum wins and nothing builds momentum more than a new coach. The sky is the limit for the LA Galaxy: Shield, Cup, impotent tears of haters and the rebirth of a dynasty.

Worst Case Scenario

Look, I’m not going to defend the LA Galaxy’s 2018 season… and neither would the players. Major League Soccer’s ultimate ‘mullet team’ (business up front, party in the back) sent balls flying into nets in both directions. I’m not joking, they scored 66 goals and their GD was +2.
Half of that loser defense is also coming back. And the team has no depth.
Worse case, drama tears apart the franchise. Polenta goes hard on one of the crybaby teams and gets a media-induced suspension a la Nigel de Jong. Fallout from Giovani’s contract dispute distracts Jonathan dos Santos or Alessandrini has to be sold last-minute. The May gauntlet (8 games in 35 days including away at NY, Columbus, Orlando and KC) ruins player health. God suffers the unthinkable injury. July’s ‘Rivalry Month’ sees up to three opportunities for trouble with supporters of San Jose and LAFC creating a lingering negative atmosphere. The August schedule is a murderer’s row of 1-point results. LA crashes below the playoff line for a third straight season and Beckham’s statue demands to go to Madrid.

Likely Outcome

Schelotto’s first season sees the Galaxy 3rd or 4th in the west and almost winning conference semifinals, screwed by the single-leg format. The experiment shows promise and he gears up for the true title challenge in the 2020 season. Consider this year GBS’s warning to the league.

Fandom

Subreddit: LAGalaxy | Podcasts: Corner of the Galaxy; Straight From The Stands; The Riot Squadcast; LA Is Our House

G’s UP!

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