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Portland Timbers

The signing of Leonard Griffin might have taken care of Portland's need for a strong left back.

'He's played in more than a dozen MLS games, has a great left foot and understands the game,' coach Gavin Wilkinson says. 'Probably five clubs were chasing him.'

Griffin also can play middle back and left midfield.

• Midfielders who could play up front include Luke Kreamalmeyer, last year's leading Timber scorer; Andrew Gregor; and maybe Ricardo 'Kiki' Lara from the Minnesota Thunder. 'But Kiki is probably better in the middle or wide left,' Wilkinson says.

• Some preseason matches will not be open to the public. 'These players are under enough pressure already,' Wilkinson says.

- Steve Brandon