Ben Zemanski to Replace Will Johnson Against Columbus

Ben Zemanski (right) battles for a loose ball (Brent Wojahn/The Oregonian)
Ben Zemanski (right) battles for a loose ball
(Brent Wojahn/The Oregonian)

With Portland Timbers starter Will Johnson up north helping with Canadian national team duties, he will be MIA for Portland’s game against Columbus this Sunday. According to Timbers head coach Caleb Porter the man to replace Johnson will likely be Ben Zemanski according to a report by the Oregonian.

“(Johnson)’s probably the obvious guy that we would plug in there,” Porter said to media during team practices.

Zemanski has appeared in 13 games, three starts, at central midfielder this season with a lone goal and two assists. His one goal came in a 2-2 draw at Chicago on June 8 almost exactly a month ago. Zemanki is primarily used by the team in late-game situations often time brought in as an extra defender to lock down a close game.

Born and raised in Akron, Ohio and a former star at Akron University where he played under then head coach Porter, it’ll be a bit of a homecoming event.

“I look forward to it. It’s a familiar spot for me,” Zemanski said. “I’m comfortable there and the team always makes it easier.”

Zemanski says that he’ll be trying to find extra tickets for family and friends making the trip to the game.

“Anytime you can play in front of your family and friends is always a good thing,” Zemanski said. “I’ve got my family and some family in Pittsburgh I think are going to come, too.”

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