The Portland Timbers announced May 8 that they will be loaning forward Bright Dike to the L.A. Blues of USL PRO for the rest of season. The Timbers continue to tweak the lineup and look for that combination of players who will get the breakthrough that can help get the team back on track.
As part of the agreement, the Timbers can recall Dike at any time should they want him back. Dike joined the Blues effective the same day and will be available for their fixtures coming up over the weekend. Dike had been part of the Timbers' reserve squad before the loan.
Dike started three reserve games in 2012. The Timbers want to keep developing him as a player, and he would only get limited play if he were only on the reserves roster.
The loaning out of Dike will give him the opportunity to get more playing time while he recovers from his Achilles injury suffered last season, and also allow Portland some flexibility with the roster. The first assumption is that they are making room to bring more talent in, but a loan doesn't free up a roster spot. It does give Dike more time on the pitch while not having to take someone else off.
I can't see the team getting too far away from the pairing of Kris Boyd and Darlington Nagbe up front, but the midfield needs to bring more service in for them. The goal drought for Portland has seen them unable to score a goal over the last three outings. When Dike is up to speed, it would be interesting to see him paired with Boyd up front sometimes.
Timbers not going to stop looking for answers
The backline is doing well and tightening up, but is still a work in progress. The movement of Jack Jewsbury to defense worked out decently against the Columbus Crew May 5, and Spencer deserves credit for making the call to shuffle things around as much as he did. Now, it's time to drive the attack forward and score some goals.
If righting the ship were an easy prospect, we would all be experts and could tell the team exactly what to do. It doesn't work that way, and it's good to see the Timbers trying to find the right formula.
Jeff Musall has been a fan of the Portland Timbers since moving to the area in 2001. He is excited about the 2012 season and wants to see the team back on the winning track.
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