Portland Timbers formalize innovative partnership with Oregon Youth Soccer Association

Timbers to incorporate OYSA into youth development structure as part of unique partnership

Timbers Academy training, 9.22.12

Photo Credit: 
Photo by L.M. Parr

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced an innovative partnership with Oregon Youth Soccer Association (OYSA), which sees the state-wide, youth soccer organization become a part of the club’s comprehensive youth development structure and the Timbers become the presenting partner of the annual Oregon State Cup.

The new partnership is one of the first of its kind between an MLS club and a state youth soccer association. The Timbers will bring OYSA under their development umbrella and strategic plan, aiding in the direction of the youth association and establishing top-tier development opportunities for thousands of Oregon’s youth soccer players through OYSA’s club leagues and tournaments.

The Timbers will provide OYSA and its clubs resources for coaching education and share best practices in player development, creating a unified development philosophy for its member clubs across the state. The MLS club will also help OYSA oversee premier leagues for club teams, both boys and girls, at each age level.

Additionally, the Timbers will be the presenting partner of the Oregon State Cup, which is part of the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series. Winners of the Oregon State Cup advance to regional and national competitions.

Further, the Timbers and OYSA are collaborating on the creation of coaching curriculum for recreational levels as well as additional support and expansion of Oregon’s TOPSoccer, a nationwide program providing playing opportunities for chlidren with special needs.

The new groundbreaking alliance between the Timbers and OYSA expands upon an innovative development initiative established between the two organizations in 2011 that currently serves as the foundation for the Timbers’ Regional Training Centers, the club’s pre-academy and Oregon’s Olympic Development Programs (ODP).

The Timbers have established six Regional Training Centers across their development territory, located in the cities of Beaverton, Bend, Eugene/Salem, Gresham, Medford and Vancouver, Wash. The Regional Training Centers serve as one of the major components of the MLS club’s vertically integrated development system, and are the hubs for the Timbers’ pre-academy teams as well as Oregon’s boy’s and girl’s ODP teams, which are overseen by OYSA, for youth players ages U-12 to U-15.

A list of clubs that have already stepped up to support the new partnership include: Bend FC Timbers, Cascade Futbol Club, Eastside Timbers, Eugene Timbers, Hillsboro Soccer Club, Portland City United, Rogue Valley Timbers, Santos, Washington Timbers, Westside Timbers and Woodburn AFC.

OYSA, founded in 1974, is a non-profit youth organization that administers, supports and grows soccer across the state of Oregon. The organization’s mission is to foster an environment that promotes the physical, mental and emotional development of Oregon's youth through the sport of soccer.