Timbers prepare for draft day

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers will take part in United Soccer Leagues’ annual First Division College Player Draft on Tuesday, Jan. 18. The draft, which begins at 12 noon Pacific Time, will be held via conference call.

The Timbers have the 12th and 24th overall picks in the draft, which is comprised of two rounds. After finishing with the league’s top record in 2004, the Timbers hold the last pick in both rounds.

Head coach Bobby Howe has been in Southern California scouting players at the MLS Combine, the U.S. U-20 qualifier and regional amateur matches in anticipation of next week’s draft.

“There are several very good players out there,” said Howe. “We are always looking to improve the standard of play within our club, whether it be through recruitment, walk-ons or selection in the draft.”

The Timbers selected 2004 A-League Rookie of the Year Alan Gordon out of Oregon State with the ninth overall pick in last year’s draft. Gordon went on to share the league’s goal-scoring title with 17 strikes during his rookie season with Portland and is now a member of Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy.

Portland, which released its 28-game schedule on Wednesday, kicks off its fifth season on Saturday, April 23 against the Toronto Lynx at PGE Park. A variety of season ticket options are available by calling the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555.

PORTLAND TIMBERS USL COLLEGE DRAFT CHOICES
2004
First Round – Alan Gordon, F (Oregon State)
Second Round – Leonard Griffin, D (UCLA)

2003
First Round - Ryan Coiner, F (San Diego)
Second Round - Curtis Spiteri, G (Portland)

2002
First Round - Bryn Ritchie, D (Washington)
Second Round - Ben Somoza, M (Washington)
Third Round - Jake Sagare, M (Washington)

2001
First Round - Vadim Tolstolutsky, M (Seattle Pacific)

2005 USL FIRST DIVISION DRAFT ORDER
1 – Puerto Rico Islanders
2 – Charleston Battery
3 – Toronto Lynx
4 – Virginia Beach Mariners
5 – Seattle Sounders
6 – Minnesota Thunder
7 – Atlanta Silverbacks
8 – Vancouver Whitecaps
9 – Rochester Raging Rhinos
10 – Richmond Kickers
11 – Montreal Impact
12 – Portland Timbers