Portland adds PDL team
The Timbers U-23s will be an amateur team comprised of standout players from collegiate and youth levels around the Northwest. The new Timbers U-23s team will serve as a development program for the Timbers first team, which competes in the USL First Division.
“The Timbers U-23s team is a great addition to our franchise,” said Timbers General Manager Gavin Wilkinson. “By adding a PDL team, the Timbers have the opportunity to reach deeper into the community and continue to make a significant impact in the soccer community through local player development. Not only will this program be great for our local colleges and their players, but the first team should reap the rewards in years to come.”
Projected to join the Northwest Division of the PDL’s Western Conference, the Timbers U-23s will compete against other clubs from Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, including the Cascade Surge, based in Salem, Ore., Yakima Reds and Vancouver Whitecaps Residency. The PDL is North America’s top amateur league for players 23 years of age and younger and serves as a ground for elite and up-and-coming players.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Portland Timbers into the PDL,” said PDL Director of Operations Lee Cohen. “Their commitment is an example of USL’s overall mission of creating multiple layers of player development under a unified umbrella in communities across North America. The Timbers have an outstanding fan base that we expect to immediately make the Timbers U-23s squad one of the most fervently supported sides in the entire league.”
The Timbers U-23s will likely play a 16-match, regular-season schedule beginning in April/May 2009. They will play their home matches at PGE Park as well as other venues around the Portland area. A coaching staff and schedule for the Timbers U-23s will be announced at a later date.