Timbers U-23s announce four more roster additions

Team adds All-Pac-12 forward Welshman, New Zealand youth international Spragg to attack

Timbers U-23s Add Four More 2012

Photo Credit: 
Portland Timbers

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Timbers U-23s today announced the commitments of four players for the 2012 Premier Development League season. Forwards Thomas Spragg and Emery Welshman and defender Marc Tonkel enter their first seasons with the team, while defender Chris Harms returns for another season with the Timbers U-23s.

The additions of Spragg (New Zealand) and Welshman (Canada) are pending the receipt of their International Transfer Certificate (ITC). Harms enters his third season with the Timbers U-23s in 2012.

Harms (Portland, Ore.) returns for a third season with the Timbers U-23s in 2012. He has played in 11 games over two seasons (2009-10) with the team; his 2010 campaign was limited by injuries. At the collegiate level, Harms, 22, recorded an all-conference season at Oregon State University as a redshirt junior and team captain in 2011. He received All-Pac-12 honorable mention after starting all 18 games and logging an assist last season. Harms has started all 42 of his career appearances for the Beavers and is a two-time all-conference honorable mention, earning All-Pac-10 honors in 2009. Harms was a prep standout at Portland’s Wilson High School, where he was named the PIL Player of the Year, first-team all-state and the team’s MVP following his senior season in 2008. He also played club soccer for adidas Timbers Alliance club Eastside Timbers as a youth.

Spragg (Drury, New Zealand) adds international experience to the Timbers U-23s roster, having played for the New Zealand U-17 National Team during the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria. He played in all four games for the Young All Whites during the tournament, helping the team reach the Round of 16. At the club level, Spragg, 19, helped youth side Central United to a pair of national and regional titles in 2007 and 2008 and back-to-back appearances in the Manchester United Premier Cup world finals. He also played for Auckland City FC of the New Zealand Football Championship during the 2009-10 season, becoming the youngest player to represent the club at the age of 16. Currently a freshman at the University of Washington, Spragg medically redshirted the 2011 NCAA season.

Tonkel (Los Gatos, Calif.) completed his junior season at the University of Portland in 2011, starting 19 of his 20 games played during the season. For the Pilots, Tonkel, 21, has logged 60 games, one goal and seven assists during his three collegiate seasons. He was named to the West Coast Conference All-Freshman team in 2009, ranking among conference leaders with six assists and helping the Pilots reach the third round of the NCAA tournament. The 2009 Pilots also featured a number of Timbers U-23s alumni, including Ryan Kawulok (2010-11), Jarad van Schaik (2009-10), Collen Warner (2009) and Logan Emory (2009). Tonkel has played club soccer at elite levels with the DeAnza Force, competing in youth national championship tournaments, the Disney Soccer Showcase and the Dallas Cup.

Welshman (Mississauga, Ontario) embarks on his first season with the Timbers U-23s after a standout junior season at Oregon State University in 2011. In 18 games, Welshman, 21, recorded three goals and a team-high seven assists, earning All-Pac-12 first-team honors. He became just the fifth Beavers player to garner all-conference first-team honors. Welshman transferred to Oregon State after two seasons at Siena College, where he compiled 18 goals and six assists in 35 games from 2009-10. He was named the 2010 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and ranked among the nation’s scoring leaders in points per game (1.81) and goals per game (0.81) as a sophomore.