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From Costa Rica back to Portland, a sense of normalcy aiding in Timbers preseason

PORTLAND, Ore. – It was four months ago, when the Portland Timbers were eliminated from the 2019 Major League Soccer playoffs, that the subject began to emerge. Then, after a season that started with 12 road games – that saw a prominent player leave the team before the last game and other controversies surfaced in the news – the next year’s theme was already understandable. Normalcy, the team’s decision makers implied in their postseason interviews, would be one of the virtues of the coming 2020 season.

Even amid that goal, it was strange how familiar Costa Rica felt.