Scouting trip takes Wilkinson to Costa Rica

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Timbers general manager and head coach Gavin Wilkinson recently returned from a three-day trip to Costa Rica, where he spent time visiting with some of the country’s premier clubs, observing talent and meeting with the country’s soccer federation.

Wilkinson’s trip, organized and arranged by ScoreOneSoccer, was based in the Costa Rican capitol of San Jose, the country’s largest city. The visit to Central America began with a meeting with representatives from the Federación Costarricense de Fútbol, which is the governing body that oversees the sport in Costa Rica.

From there, it was off to spend extensive time with top-tier clubs, which compete in the Primera Division de Costa Rica. Wilkinson met with officials from two clubs over a two-day period.

“It was a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with clubs from other parts of the world,” said Wilkinson. “We discussed a number of topics, including possible exhibition matches and even the idea of possible preseason venues for the Timbers in the years to come. But most importantly, we opened lines of communication between each of the clubs and the Timbers organization.”

Wilkinson’s trip also included time near the pitch, scouting some of Costa Rica’s top talent. He surveyed several training sessions during his visit, and had the opportunity to attend matches. While scouting talent, it was also a unique opportunity to witness how clubs abroad train players and host the game-day experience.

The trip to Costa Rica was the first of several scouting trips scheduled this offseason for Wilkinson. The Timbers will be at the United Soccer Leagues and Major League Soccer player combines in early 2010, and are in the process of scheduling other overseas trips.