Los Angeles retains striker Gordon

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer exercised their option to purchase the contract of Portland Timbers forward Alan Gordon, it was announced today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 2004 A-League Rookie of the Year, Gordon finished the season as the league’s co-goal scoring champion with 17 strikes in 27 games with the Timbers, leading Portland to the top regular-season record in the A-League and a trip to the Western Conference Semifinals.

“It’s bittersweet to see ‘Flash’ move on,” said Timbers general manager Jim Taylor. “On one hand, it’s very satisfying to develop a young player and see him advance to the next level, but it also means losing a player that meant a lot to all of us, both on and off the pitch.

“I think it says a lot about our coaching staff and its ability to develop young talent, and in the case of Alan Gordon, to do it in very short order. It’s even more exciting and satisfying that he played locally at Oregon State. We thank Alan for his outstanding contribution this past season and wish him all the best for the future.”

Named to the A-League’s first team, Gordon was a three-time A-League Player of the Week and collected two hat tricks in his first professional season.

“I’ll always remember Portland because of the fans and the great soccer atmosphere in the city,” said Gordon. “(Head coach) Bobby Howe gave me a chance to step in and show what I have, and it led to the opportunity in L.A.”

Originally drafted, but not signed, by the Galaxy in the sixth round (53rd overall) of the 2004 MLS SuperDraft, the Timbers signed Gordon to a contract prior to the 2004 season after making him their No. 1 draft pick (ninth overall) in the 2004 A-League College Draft.

Gordon, 23, was loaned to the Galaxy in September, appearing in three games and starting in two with the MLS club.

“We are glad that we have been able to secure Alan’s services for the long term,” said Galaxy head coach Steve Sampson. “We look forward to him making an impact as a goal scorer in MLS.”

Gordon, a native of Gilbert, Ariz., played his collegiate soccer at Oregon State University, where he finished third on the OSU scoring list with 59 points (26 goals, 7 assists) over two seasons.

He is the eighth player from the Timbers’ 2004 roster to have spent time in Major League Soccer.