Timbers sign defender Quavas Kirk for 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have signed defender Quavas Kirk for the 2010 season, it was announced today pending league and USSF approval. A five-year veteran, Kirk marks the Timbers’ first free-agent signing for the upcoming campaign.

Kirk, 21, played in 15 matches with the Minnesota Thunder in 2009, and was a two-time USL First Division Team of the Week selection. Prior to joining Minnesota, Kirk spent four seasons in Major League Soccer with the Los Angeles Galaxy (2005-07) and D.C. United (2008).

“Quavas has all of the attributes we are looking for in a player,” said Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers general manager and head coach. “While he is still learning the trade as a defender, we are excited to work with him and feel he has the necessary tools to help us compete at the highest levels. As a young player, he is extremely versatile and has tremendous experience.”

A native of Aurora, Ill., Kirk began his professional career at the age of 17 when he was drafted in the third round of the 2005 MLS SuperDraft by the Galaxy. In three seasons in Los Angeles, he played in 33 matches and logged two assists. Kirk was traded to D.C. United in advance of the 2008 season. He appeared in 10 games for United and aided in the club’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup-championship run.

A standout in the U.S. National Team youth system, Kirk joined the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., in 2003 at 15. As a forward, he led the U.S. U-17 National Team in scoring in 2004 with 11 goals and four assists. In 2005, he started the campaign with 16 goals in 15 games before suffering a foot injury; Kirk did recover in time to participate in the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Championships. Kirk joined the U.S. U-20 National Team in 2006 in preparation for the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, but was unable to play in the tournament due to injury.

Additionally, the club announced today that the following players will not be returning for the Timbers’ 2010 season: forwards Jason McLaughlin, Kevin Forrest and Antouman Jallow, defenders David Hayes, Cameron Dunn and Ivan Becerra, midfielders Shaun Higgins and Tom Poltl, and goalkeeper Brian Visser.