Timbers U-23s unveil complete roster for 2013 season
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers U-23s today unveiled their complete roster for the 2013 season, announcing the addition of 14 players, as the team kicks off their campaign this week, starting with a first-round match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday.
The Timbers U-23s play host to the Sacramento Gold of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) on Tuesday in the first round of the U.S. Open Cup at JELD-WEN Field at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific).
Portland then opens its fifth Premier Development League campaign Thursday as it plays host to Seattle Sounders FC U-23 at JELD-WEN Field as part of a Providence Health & Fitness Day; kickoff is set for 11 a.m. (Pacific). Tickets for both matches are available for purchase through the JELD-WEN Field box office and online at www.portlandtimbers.com.
Among the players announced today, forward Clark Phillips and midfielders John McFarlin and Nick Palodichuk each return for a second season with the team.
New to the team this season are: forwards Saad Abdul-Salaam (Akron) and Jaime Velasco (Portland); midfielders Gabriel Conelian (Kentucky), Michael Escobar (Portland), Jose Ribas (Creighton) Khiry Shelton (Oregon State) and Will Vitalis (Louisville); defenders Travis Brent (Marshall), Bryan Gallego (Akron) and Mitch Lurie (Louisville) and goalkeeper David Meves (Akron).
Portland will open the season with 26 players on its roster; click here to view the complete roster.
Abdul-Salaam (Gahanna, Ohio) finished his sophomore season at the University of Akron in 2012, appearing in 13 games (4 starts) and scoring the game-winning goal in the Mid-American Conference championship match against Northern Illinois.
Brent (Virginia Beach, Va.) played his junior season at Marshall University last fall, anchoring one of the best defensive units in the country with a team goals-against average of 0.52. He has started 45 of his 48 appearances over his first three collegiate seasons.
Conelian (São Paulo, Brazil) finished among the University of Kentucky’s leading scorers as a sophomore in 2012 with five goals and three assists. He was one of eight Wildcats players to appear in all 21 games last season.
Escobar (Saratoga, Calif.) ranked among assist leaders for the University of Portland last season, recording four assists in 16 games as a sophomore, and was an All-West Coast Conference honorable mention.
Gallego (Kinnelon, N.J.) played a key role in a dominant backline at Akron last season. The sophomore helped the Zips register 16 shutouts, earning All-MAC second-team honors. He was a member of the U.S. U-20 National Team pool in 2012 and served as captain of the U.S. U-18 side.
Lurie (Alpharetta, Ga.) appeared in 18 games, recording two assists for the University of Portland as a sophomore in 2012. After two seasons with the Pilots, the former U.S. U-18 National Team player transferred to the University of Louisville this spring.
McFarlin (Santa Rosa, Calif.) appeared in eight matches for the Timbers U-23s last season. A two-time All-WCC honorable mention at Loyola Marymount University, McFarlin played in all 19 games last season as a sophomore and paced the team with four assists.
Meves (Arlington Heights, Ill) finished his collegiate career at Akron in 2012 as the NCAA’s all-time leader in shutouts (54) and goalkeeper minutes played (8,068). He earned All-America honors following a successful senior campaign, in which he allowed just eight goals in 22 games. A four-time All-MAC selection, Meves was a key contributor to the Zips’ national championship run in 2010 and assembled a career record of 77-7-10 during his collegiate career. He was selected with the No. 3 pick in the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft by the Portland Timbers.
Palodichuk (Battle Ground, Wash.) was a member of the Timbers U-23s in 2011, appearing in 11 games. At Duke University, Palodichuk has scored 10 goals in 32 games over his first two collegiate seasons, and earned All-ACC second-team honors as a freshman in 2011.
Phillips (Portland, Ore.) was one of the Timbers U-23s’ leading scorers last season, netting four goals in 15 games. He has been one of the leading scorers at Gonzaga University through his first two collegiate seasons as well, registering nine goals and five assists in 38 games for the Bulldogs. He was named the WCC Freshman of the Year in 2011.
Ribas (Guayaquil, Ecuador) completed his sophomore season at the University of Creighton last fall, recording two goals and eight assists over 23 starts. He was named to the All-Missouri Valley Conference second team and helped guide the Bluejays to a second straight NCAA College Cup.
Shelton (Leander, Texas) was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention for Oregon State University in 2012, tallying four goals and two assists in 15 games for the Beavers. He was a member of the U.S. U-18 National Team in 2010 prior to starting his collegiate career.
Velasco (Beaverton, Ore.) led the University of Portland in assists last season as a freshman, recording two goals and five assists in 19 games. His assists total ranked third in the WCC and he earned a place on the WCC All-Freshman Team and was an all-conference honorable mention.
Vitalis (Crestwood, Ky.) had a standout sophomore season at the University of Louisville in 2012, ranking among the team’s leading scorers and pacing the team with seven assists. He was selected to the All-BIG EAST second team and helped guide the Cardinals to the NCAA tournament.