Rodney Wallace, according to reports, has returned to the Portland Timbers active roster after leaving to participate with the Costa Rica national team. And already his presence is having an immediate impact on the team.
“He brings a good energy to the group,” head coach Caleb Porter said in an article by the Oregonian. “It’s interesting. I even thought in warm-up, just seeing him with the guys that the energy changed a bit.”
Wallace has missed the last three Timbers games while competing in the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament. With Costa Rica falling 1-0 to Honduras in Sunday’s quarterfinal match, Wallace is no longer in need and can return to the Timbers.
Fortunately for the Timbers (8-2-10), Wallace played few minutes for Team Costa Rica. Wallace will be used against Norwich City in Wednesday’s friendly and could see serious action this weekend. There’s even a strong chance that he’ll start Saturday against San Jose.
“He didn’t get chewed so much that he’s coming back and needs a break,” Porter said. “So we’ll plug hm in (Wednesday) a bit and give him a run and then make a decision on Saturday on how we play him.”
Portland currently sits in second place in the Western Conference standings, three points behind Real Salt Lake and one point ahead of the LA Galaxy. With 14 games remaining, the Timbers are in a strong position to make the postseason.
“He brings a dimension that helps us penetrate,” Porter said. “Perhaps in his absence, we haven’t been quite as dangerous or direct getting behind teams.”
“He also brings a bit of a swagger to the team,” Porter said. “He does have a chip on his shoulder…in a good way. He brings confidence.”