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Ex-Chelsea forward Spencer still to find Portland Timbers partner for Boyd

Portland Timbers head coach John Spencer admits he has not yet sorted out who will lead the frontline for the start of the 2012 MLS season.

The Timbers produced a massive coup in the shape of former Rangers, Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest striker Kris Boyd during the off-season but Spencer is not sure who out of Darlington Nagbe, Jorge Perlaza and Bright Dike will partner him up front.

"No one has really taken hold of the position. Everybody has shown flashes of good stuff in the preseason," Spencer told The Oregonian.

"Everybody has proven in the past that they have much more to offer than what we have seen so far.

"Any one of them could say, 'I've done this or that last season. But we're not in last year.'

"They must prove who is going to be the best partner with Boyd."

On young gun Nagbe, Spencer said: "He has the God-given talent. Does he want to maximize that talent he's given?"

In regards to Colombian Perlaza he commented: "Jorge is extremely quick and more natural at running in behind and stretching the back four (defenders)."

And of second-year forward Dike, he opined: "He's a big guy, but he's still inexperienced at this level," Spencer said. "It's up to him to develop his talents and make himself a better player."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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