Timbers to participate in First Division college draft

The Portland Timbers have the fourth and 17th overall picks in the upcoming 2007 USL First Division College Player Draft, which will be held Wednesday, Jan. 24. The draft, which begins at 12 noon Pacific Time, will be conducted via conference call.

The draft is comprised of two rounds of 13 picks. As in the past, the draft order was determined by ranking teams in reverse order of their 2006 regular-season finish. The Carolina RailHawks and the California Victory, expansion franchises for 2007, will receive the first and second picks in each round, respectively.

Timbers head coach and general manager Gavin Wilkinson attended the USL Player Showcase in December to scout players and has attended several regional and collegiate matches in anticipation of the upcoming draft.

“I’m very much looking forward to the draft,” said Wilkinson. “The USL player draft provides a great opportunity to bring in more quality players for our team.”

Only college seniors, other college players with no remaining eligibility, or college or high school players that have expressed in writing that they are forgoing their remaining years of eligibility are eligible for the draft.

In 2006, the Timbers selected defender Anthony Noreiga from George Mason with their first pick and defender Kenney Bertz from Maryland with their second-round pick.

PORTLAND TIMBERS USL COLLEGE DRAFT CHOICES
2006

First Round (8th overall) – Anthony Noreiga, D (George Mason)
Second Round (20th overall) – Kenney Bertz, D (Maryland)

2005
First Round (12th overall) – Justin Cook, F (Ohio State)
Second Round (24th overall) – Dan Kennedy, GK (UC-Santa Barbara)

2004
First Round (9th overall) – Alan Gordon, F (Oregon State)
Second Round (25th overall) – Leonard Griffin, D (UCLA)

2003
First Round (12th overall) - Ryan Coiner, F (San Diego)
Second Round (31st overall) - Curtis Spiteri, GK (Portland)

2002
First Round (11th overall) - Bryn Ritchie, D (Washington)
Second Round (29th overall) - Ben Somoza, M (Washington)
Third Round (53rd overall) - Jake Sagare, M (Washington)

2001
First Round (21st overall) - Vadim Tolstolutsky, M (Seattle Pacific)

2007 FIRST-ROUND DRAFT ORDER
1 – Carolina RailHawks
2 – California Victory
3 – Minnesota Thunder
4 – Portland Timbers
5 – Virginia Beach Mariners
6 – Atlanta Silverbacks
7 – Seattle Sounders
8 – Puerto Rico Islanders
9 – Miami FC
10 – Vancouver Whitecaps
11 – Charleston Battery
12 – Rochester Raging Rhinos
13 – Montreal Impact