PORTLAND -- Timbers head coach Caleb Porter has announced that midfielder Will Johnson is the new team captain.
The Timbers open the season Sunday against New York at Jeld-Wen Field. Midfielder Jack Jewsbury held the honor of field captain the past two seasons, but will now be club captain.
“He'll continue to be a presence and a leader on the field, in the locker room and in the community,” Porter said about Jewsbury. “There's no controversy. It's not a demotion for Jack, whatsoever. We need someone to wear the armband and lead our team this Sunday and that will be Will.”
The Timbers acquired Johnson in a trade with Real Salt Lake during the off season.
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“Will’s a winner,” said Porter. “He's a competitor. He's been in a winning locker room in real Salt Lake and won an MLS cup trophy. I think that experience is invaluable. His competitiveness is extremely valuable day-to-day in terms of getting our culture right and pushing guys."
"He's a guy who can kind of grab guys by the scruff of their necks and say, 'Hey wake up, let's get going,' but also he has the maturity and emotional intelligence to give positive reinforcement at the right times,” Porter added.
Johnson was excited and very proud.
“Huge honor,” he said, “one of the biggest of my career no doubt. Very excited, humbled and grateful to lead this group of guys.”
Jewsbury injured his hamstring during the first preseason game of 2013 against Colorado in late January. He is coming along, but is not expected to play this Sunday.
“In my eyes it's a matter of respect from the club,” Jewsbury said about being club captain. “What I do on and off the field, and the person that I am. For me not much really changes. We’re both going to be leaders on this team and hopefully more and more guys step up. That's what you need on a championship team, which is what we're building.”