Long-time Timbers defender Scot Thompson retires

PORTLAND, Ore. – Following an eight-year playing career, Portland Timbers defender Scot Thompson announced his retirement from professional soccer this evening. Thompson was the Timbers’ all-time career leader in games and minutes played during the club’s USL era.

In seven seasons with the Timbers from 2004-10, Thompson, 29, played in 156 regular-season matches and logged 12,994 minutes. Along with nine career goals, he totaled nine assists, which also ranks among Portland’s second-division career leaders. In 2010, Thompson took on a dual role as a player and as the club’s community ambassador, further aiding in the Timbers’ community outreach efforts.

“As our longest tenured player, Scot in many ways embodies what the Timbers as an organization represent: commitment to community, hard work and excellence,” said Timbers president Merritt Paulson. “While Scot’s days on the field may be over, this is not goodbye. We look forward to continuing to work with Scot in the future.”

Among his many accomplishments during his time with the Timbers, Thompson was a two-time USL First Division All-League selection, earning first-team honors in 2005. He helped the Timbers win the USL First Division Commissioner’s Cup in 2004 and 2009 as the league’s regular-season champion. He was named one of the USL First Division’s Top 25 Players of the Decade (2000-09) by USLsoccer.com. In 2006, Thompson was selected to represent the USL in the USL First Division All-Star Game in Cary, N.C., against English side Sheffield Wednesday. For his dedicated efforts in the community last season, Thompson received the Timbers’ 2010 Community Player of the Year award.

“It is difficult to find the right words to express what the past seven years have meant to me,” said Thompson. “I am extremely appreciative and grateful to the fans, the players I've worked with and the Timbers organization for everything they have done.

“This is a bittersweet moment in my life. Playing professionally has been one of my greatest accomplishments, but I am excited for what the future has in store. I especially would like to thank my amazing wife, son and family members for being my number one supporters. Maybe one day they'll be another Thompson in a Timbers jersey.”

Thompson, a native of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., first joined the Timbers midway through the 2004 season on loan from Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy and contributed to the club’s run at the regular-season title that year. He signed with the Timbers in 2005 and provided speed and athleticism to the club’s defensive unit through his final season in 2010; he played every position across the backline during his time in Portland.

“Scot is a class act and personified what a true professional should be,” said Gavin Wilkinson, Timbers general manager and technical director. “It has been a pleasure working alongside Scot for the past seven years as a teammate and then as his coach. He is a tremendous asset to the local soccer community and will continue to be a great reflection of the organization in the community.”

Thompson played a leading role in to two of the best defensive seasons of the Timbers’ second-division era. In 2007, he played in 27 games, helping the Timbers set franchise records for shutouts (14) and fewest goals allowed (18) in a single season; Portland paced the league in fewest goals conceded that year. Thompson appeared in 29 games during the Timbers’ 2009 USL First Division season, in which the club posted a league-record, 24-game unbeaten streak and shared the league lead in fewest goals conceded (19) on its way to a first-place finish during the regular season and the Commissioner’s Cup.

During his career, Thompson also participated in two extensive trials with English clubs, most notably with Premier League-bound Sunderland AFC in 2005. He then spent 10 days on trial with Coventry City of England’s second division in 2006.

Thompson began his career in MLS and was selected 16th overall by the Galaxy in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft.

He enjoyed a successful collegiate career at UCLA, leading the Bruins to the NCAA championship as a senior in 2002. During his senior season, Thompson garnered NSCAA All-Far West second-team honors, was named to the College Cup All-Tournament team and received Soccer America Pre-Season All-America accolades. He was a three-time All-Pac-10 selection, including first-team honors in 2002, and was named UCLA’s Defensive MVP in back-to-back seasons (2001-02). For the Bruins, Thompson played in 79 games (70 starts), totaling eight goals and three assists.

Thompson also played on the international stage with the U.S. National Team at the U-18, U-20 and U-23 levels. In 2003, he helped the U.S. U-23 National Team to a second-place finish at the Vale do Tejo International Tournament in Portugal.

Upon retirement from his professional playing career, Thompson will continue his active role in the Portland soccer community, serving as the girls coaching director and a youth coach for Bridlemile Soccer Club and the varsity girls head coach at Oregon Episcopal School.