Kris Boyd came into Portland with big plans and a big bang introduction – stark contrast to the unsightly end less than a year later. In the end, Boyd’s time ended quietly, ingloriously, with Timbers owner Merritt Paulson cutting a check and cutting ties.
The cynic might say Paulson timed this thing to drop on MLS Draft day so as to partially absorb or deflect the sharpest shrapnel of ridicule. But that would not really be fair, since the news didn’t come out of the Timbers’ office. Rather, Ives Galarcep of Soccer By Ives was the first to report that Boyd and the Timbers had parted ways, doing so from the draft at Indianapolis.
Either way, Boyd’s time is officially done, which can hardly qualify as “surprise” at this point. New manager Caleb Porter clearly didn’t see a place for Boyd in the way he wanted to configure the new-look Timbers. Richard Farley told you recently about that particular little odd duck of a personnel conundrum.
It’s a tough situation, granted. But at this point, was there really any other option?
Boyd clearly wasn’t what Paulson thought he would be. Some of us, including myself, went back and forth with Paulson, engaging in a good-natured Twitter fight last year about how successful he would be in MLS. Scottish strikers, myself and others suggested, had a shaky history in the league, pouring in goals while playing for Celtic or Rangers in the wildly imbalanced Scottish Premier League but then frequently failing to repeat the successful rate of fire here.
Stack that on top of his obvious lack of stylistic accord with Porter and, well, the writing was the Jeld-Wen Field Wall.
At this point, keeping Boyd would have been awkward and almost certainly unproductive for all, straining to save some face and salvage something from an arrangement that simply wasn’t going to bear fruit.
Severing ties and starting with a truly clean slate for Porter – as opposed to a “mostly” clean slate and a square peg of a striker matched with a round hole of a system – was best for all.
And from Boyd’s side, it’s best for him, too. What would be the point of staying around, trying to convince a manager who clearly has little faith in the Timbers’ DP.
It’s not Boyd’s fault that he got chopped up in a maelstrom of conflicting ideas and poor personnel choices. He was, by all accounts, a good teammate, a decent fellow and a worthy representative of the Timbers brand.
Pulling the band-aide off quickly does smart for a minute – but it’s the better way to go about it, as we all know.