Five Timbers receive All-League honors

PORTLAND, Ore. – United Soccer Leagues announced today that four members of the Portland Timbers – Steve Cronin, David Hayes, Ryan Pore and Mandjou Keita – were selected to the USL First Division All-League First Team. Additionally, defender Cameron Knowles was named to the All-League Second Team.

With five total all-league selections, it is the most the Timbers have received in one season since joining the USL First Division in 2001. All-league players were voted on by the league’s coaches and general managers.

Cronin, 26, was honored as the USL First Division Goalkeeper of the Year with his all-league selection. He ranked among league leaders in goals-against average (0.68), games played (28), shutouts (10) and shared the league lead with 15 wins – a new modern-franchise record. He becomes the second Timbers goalkeeper to receive Goalkeeper of the Year honors; Josh Wicks was recognized in 2007.

Hayes, 33, received his third consecutive All-League First-Team selection, and is one of four finalists for the USL First Division Defender of the Year. He played in all 30 regular-season matches and made his 250th appearance in the USL First Division midway through the season. Hayes finished second in the league in minutes played (2,698) and ranked among team leaders with five assists.

Pore, 26, tallied 10 goals in 23 matches this season to earn his first all-league selection and help the Timbers score a league-high 45 goals in 2009. He ranked among league leaders in both goals and points. Pore also set a new Timbers modern-franchise record scoring in six consecutive matches during the month of August to help the club set a new USL First Division record with a 24-game unbeaten streak.

Keita, 29, finished his first season with the Timbers as the USL First Division’s Scoring Champion, leading the league with 29 points from 11 goals and seven assists. He ranked among league leaders in goals, assists and shots (71). During the regular season, Keita played in 29 matches and was a four-time USL First Division Player of the Week recipient.

Knowles, 26, was named to the All-League Second Team for a second straight season. He was a part of the Timbers’ backline that allowed a league-low 19 goals during the campaign. In 2009, Knowles played in 20 matches and recorded an assist. His season with the club was cut short due to a season-ending leg injury on Aug. 12.

The Timbers face the Vancouver Whitecaps in the semifinal round of the playoffs. The two-game, aggregate goal series begins Thursday in Vancouver and concludes Sunday at PGE Park at 4 p.m., presented by Spirit Mountain Casino. Tickets for Sunday’s match start at $14 in advance and are available at the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone (800) 745-3000.

USL First Division All-League First Team
GK Steve Cronin (Portland Timbers)
D Nelson Akwari (Charleston Battery)
D Cristian Arrieta (Puerto Rico Islanders)
D Matt Bobo (Charleston Battery)
D David Hayes (Portland Timbers)
M Daniel Paladini (Carolina RailHawks)
M Ricardo Sanchez (Minnesota Thunder)
M Ryan Pore (Portland Timbers)
F Charles Gbeke (Vancouver Whitecaps)
F Mandjou Keita (Portland Timbers)
F Johnny Menyongar (Rochester Rhinos)

USL First Division All-League Second Team
GK Bill Gaudette (Puerto Rico Islanders)
D Stephen deRoux (Montreal Impact)
D Cameron Knowles (Portland Timbers)
D John Krause (Puerto Rico Islanders)
D Mark Schulte (Carolina RailHawks)
M Martin Nash (Vancouver Whitecap)
M Lawrence Olum (Minnesota Thunder)
M Jonathan Steele (Puerto Rico Islanders)
M David Testo (Montreal Impact)
F Marlon James (Vancouver Whitecaps)
F Eddie Johnson (Austin Aztex)