Timbers acquire Nimo on loan from Real Salt Lake

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer announced today that midfielder and Portland native Alex Nimo will be loaned to the Timbers for the entire 2009 USL First Division season pending league and USSF approval.

As part of the agreement, Real Salt Lake has the ability to recall Nimo should his services be needed by the MLS club during the season.

Nimo, 18, was selected 17th overall by Real Salt Lake in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft and collected four assists in 10 MLS Reserve Division matches during his rookie season. He is a member of MLS’s Generation adidas, which identifies the league’s top young talent.

“Alex is a technically gifted, attacking player,” said Gavin Wilkinson, head coach and general manager of the Timbers. “He is an exciting player to watch. Playing for the Timbers this season will be a great opportunity for him to mature as a player.”

Nimo has been a member of the U.S. U-20 National Team since January 2008 and scored a goal in is debut with team in the 2008 Copa Chivas tournament. As a member of the U.S. U-17 National Team, Nimo was enrolled at the U-17 Residency program in Bradenton, Fla., and helped the U-17s qualify for the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Korea. Nimo has scored a total of eight goals in 22 international matches.

“Coming to Portland this season is a good thing for me,” said Nimo. “I will have the opportunity play in more games week in and week out. Real Salt Lake is looking out for my best interest by allowing me the opportunity to get more games in, continue my development and have the support of my family and friends around me. It’s a good situation.”

Born in Liberia, Nimo and his family lived in a refugee camp in Ghana before they were granted asylum and moved to Portland, Ore., in 1999 when he was nine years old. He starred at Benson High School and earned Portland Interscholastic League MVP honors and was named a Parade High School All-American in 2006. Nimo joined the U-17 Residency program upon receiving U.S. citizenship in 2006.

With the addition of Nimo, the Timbers now have 21 roster players for the upcoming USL First Division campaign. He has already joined the Timbers in preseason training at PGE Park.

The Timbers play their first preseason match Saturday when they visit the San Jose Earthquakes of MLS at Buck Shaw Stadium at 7 p.m. Portland’s preseason schedule continues on March 20, when it plays host to MLS’s New York Red Bulls at the University of Portland’s Clive Charles Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for $10 at the UP and PGE Park box offices, area Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.