Highlights: Ben Zemanski

Midfielder played under Caleb Porter at Akron prior to MLS

The one-time University of Akron Zip, Ben Zemanski now finds himself reunited in Portland with his former coach Caleb Porter and teammate Darlington Nagbe.

The versatile midfielder can put in a good cross, play the ball into space, and is not afraid to fire from distance (see above). In this 2011 clip below, Zemanski makes something out of nothing as he somehow puts in a ball from the right corner flag that connects for a Nick LaBrocca header. (Note: the commentary mistakenly says the cross is from Marcos Mondaini when it is in fact Zemanski.)
 

Still only 24, Zemanski has been a gritty midfielder who also shows great vision in the middle of the park. In this next clip, he takes off on a cutting run from the left side whereupon he leaves a perfectly weighted through ball for forward Juan Pablo Angel. Angel collects and does not miss. While Angel shows great skill, the clip displays great movement both on and off the ball from Zemanski. He creates the play, Angel finishes it off.
 

Of the newest Timbers player, Porter said, “He brings an additional competitive presence that we are confident will help advance the culture of this club even further." That competitive presence is on due display in this last clip taken from Chivas USA's final match of the 2012 season against FC Dallas. Despite being well out of the playoff picture and with time running down, Zemanski stays focused and keeps the pressure on the Dallas defense. Collecting a loose ball near the top of the box, he finds Laurent Courtois who scores and ruins Kevin Hartman's shutout bid.