The Flyers continued their unfortunate reputation as a usually low-scoring club finishing the regular season with a Ppg of 3.0 and Majors Cup Qualifying with a slightly higher 3.5. Once the postseason commenced though, things became better. Over the five game Majors Cup competition, the team averaged a Ppg of 4.6. This is in keeping with, or a slight improvement over the last two seasons for the team and hopefully a positive trend. However, it's considerably behind the top performing clubs who averaged much nearer to 4 or slightly over it.
Players combined well this year to leave the team with five field players with double digit BSL points along with goalkeeper Jaime Penedo on ten of his own. Beyond that, there were several other players who managed to contribute a few goals of their own. However, a few issues might be mentioned as well. Marco Di Vaio, worth nearly 20 BSL points on his own last season hauled in only 11 points this season on his way to a well deserved retirement. Add to that the fact that the offseason's premier acquisition, New England's Diego Fagundez, who was supposed to bring some youth to the squad and hold over long term as a new DP managed only 10 himself and you'll quickly see that it took almost two players to do the job of one last year. This by no means means that Fagundez won't be back for the Rose City next season, but he's by no means the slam dunk that was hoped for. Several field players might have had a few more but for some lingering lineup failures that the Flyers front office can't seem to shake off. There's always a couple it seems.
Giles Barnes - 11pts; 6 goals, 5 assists
Marco Di Vaio - 11pts; 8 goals, 3 assists
We've already discussed Di Vaio and it's clear that he's not performed to the level he did last season. Retaining him also appears to be out of the question unless he changes his mind about retirement. Let's just say that this is about the minimum performance that a DP should provide to seem like they were worth it and we wish Marco the best as he heads back to Italy to be with his family.
Lamar Neagle - 11pts; 6 goals, 5 assists
Eleven points doesn't happen by accident in the BSL however. He's scored a few goals but dishes to his friends as often. Guys like Neagle are clearly the backbone of any healthy BSL club. A couple of Robbie Keanes or Dom Dwyers don't get your team there on their own. You need some guys like Neagle. Underappreciated, drafted in the mid rounds, and willing to show up when your big name DPs don't necessarily.
Does he have the makings of a DP selection? Well, he's already beaten his personal record for BSL points and expecting the Sounders to contend for the Supporters' Shield again next year seems like a coin flip at best. It might be worth thinking about, but don't expect it.
Diego Fagundez - 10pts; 4 goals, 6 assists
Jeff Larentowicz - 10pts; 3 goals, 1 assist, 6 shots on goal
Jaime Penedo (GK) - 10pts; 4 save points, 6 clean sheets
Choosing a GK in the BSL is a tricky proposition. Last year, the team ended up stuck with Zac McMath when every reasonable keeper was grabbed in between two Rose City picks. Even more tricky, since roughly half the points your keeper will earn are from Clean Sheets instead of saves which means there's a tension between having a keeper who plays for a team likely to get a lot of sheets or one who's back line is just porous enough to allow for a lot of potential saves each game. The preference of some BSL teams for keeping a backup keeper in the reserve slot as well makes this even harder. Penedo is a reasonable keeper for a good team with a solid back line. Just that made him worth ten points this season. But it's definitely possible to do better. Still, you never know when a solid league GK will turn sour as with guys like Tally Hall and John Busch this year.
Eric Alexander - 7pts; 2 goals, 5 assists
Alexander was a solid pickup in Round 9 who had been overlooked by other BSL owners less familar with him. No longer playing for the Portland Timbers, it was still clear that Alexander was talented and getting time in the midfield for the Energy Drinks. At that point in the draft it seemed like a no brainer just based on the fact that he'd regularly see the field. Many other picks from a similar range can't say the same.
Maxi Urruti - 7pts; 5 goals, 2 assists
For every Round 7 or Round 9 steal, there's a guy that you're over-hyped on. After spending our Round 1 grabbing Diego Fagundez the first actual pick in Round 2 was used to pick up the Argentine Urruti who's definitely talented but spent a good chunk of the season sharing the starts with the Timbers new DP Fenendo Adi. Both have proved to be dangerous for the real Rose City but the shared play time has cut into the potential for Urruti to really score it big with the Flyers. He might be worth a DP pickup but only if something truly shakes up the duality of his relationship with Adi in Portland.
Drew Moor - 6pts; 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 shots on goal
Drew Moor was the third to last pick in the 2014 draft. That makes his six points look especially good and it gets even better when you realize that he rode the Flyers reserve slot for the entirety of the Majors Cup after picking up a season ending injury in Week 22.
Aurelien Collin - 4pts; 4 shots on goal
This guy, behated by many an MLS attacking corps, was the Retention Player for the Rose City for 2014. He didn't perform as well as the previous year but he did put a few points on the board and, without something crazy happening, that's exactly what you want your RP to do.
Rodney Wallace - 3pts; 3 goals
Wallace was a revelation for the Flyers lasts season. In fact, he was one of the few bright spots. He opened up the attack on Portland's left wing after Caleb Porter saw fit to drag him from the darkness of his play at left back. He poured on both the goals and assists and, when his ACL popped in the Timbers' final game of the postseason versus RSL, the Flyers were sad to know that he wasn't a wise choice for RP going into this year. That said, most teams have some chaff that doesn't quite work out and, when Wallace began looking like he was ready to get back to playing the Rose City grabbed him for Marcelo Sarvas who, while he put some points on the board later in the season had been a big snooze until then. The upside, Wallace will be the frontrunner for the 2015 Retention Player assuming nothing changes about his position with Caleb Porter's squad.
Jordan Harvey - 2pts; 2 shots on goal
Ned Grabavoy - 1pt; 1 assist