Friday, January 26, 2018

Bested out West

We now turn to the four Western sides that fell short in the postseason.

PORTLAND

Thus far: The Timbers waved goodbye to engine man Darlington Nagbe and back-up strker Darren Mattocks. They haven't made moves to replace them yet, but they have done a couple of interesting things. Andy Polo brings speed and an eagerness to be goal-dangerous on loan, while Julio Cascante adds a needed mobile center back that also happens to be a set piece threat.

The biggest hole: More than anything else right now, Portland needs to build their depth back up all around midfield.

VANCOUVER

Thus far: A couple of new goal-getters are on board in Kei Kamara and Anthony Blondell. The veteran often shines after a move and the youngster combines athletic guile with a rifle right leg. I'd like to think Efrain Juarez will prove a real coup, though it's unclear which field station he'll take up.

The biggest hole: The Whitecaps have parted ways with no less than seven cogs (from regulars to handy depth guys) and a couple of young prospects. They could most use reinforcements in the wingback department.

SPORTING KC

Thus far: I'm not convinced that Yohan Croizet is the answer to their attacking needs behind the forward line. I do like winger Khiry Shelton's chances to bounce back and show worth. Supposedly, they are still hunting for a somewhat pricey striker.

The biggest hole: Even before Benny Feilhaber's departure, this team sorely needed midfield help. The defense ain't getting any younger, either.

SAN JOSE

Thus far: Lead striker-type Magnus Eriksson arrives off an Allsvenskan Golden Boot season. Hopefully, the signing of young defender Yeferson Quintana is only the start of their work on the back line.

The biggest hole: The Quakes should still hope to find a couple more guys capable of starting for across the back line - if not also a true impact #10. Until they buy down a DP or two, the latter won't happen.

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I will be back on Monday with the also-rans from the East.




- Greg Seltzer

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