PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers U-23s today announced their 2011 roster as they look to defend their 2010 Premier Development League (PDL) championship; transactions pending league approval. Nine players from the Timbers U-23s championship-winning team return for the 2011 campaign.
Under head coach Jim Rilatt, the Timbers U-23s kick off their third season in the PDL on Saturday as they play host to the Victoria Highlanders at JELD-WEN Field at 1 p.m. Tickets are $5 and available for purchase at the JELD-WEN Field box office on match day, starting at 10 a.m.
The group of players returning from the Timbers U-23s’ 2010 squad include forward and reigning PDL MVP Brent Richards, all-conference defender Ryan Kawoluk, as well as midfielders Bim Ogunyemi, Steven Evans and Roberto Farfan. Richards, Evans, Farfan and midfielder Tracy Hasson each return for their third season with the team.
Joining the Timbers U-23s this season are veteran defenders Ross Smith and Scot Thompson, who will provide leadership and experience on the backline featuring several new players, including Nosa Iyoha and recent New Zealand U-18 National Team member Luis Esteves. Smith and Thompson are listed among the eight overage players allowed per team by the PDL.
The Timbers U-23s frontline and attack includes newcomers Travis Bowen, former U.S. U-18 National Team players Erik Hurtado and Miles Byass and U.S. U-17 National Team standout Nick Palodichuk.
The Timbers U-23s’ 2011 roster features 11 players with Oregon or Northwest roots, including midfielders Sean Morris and Thomas Iwasaki, defender Dylan Tucker and midfielder Buck Tufty, a member of the 2010 NCAA Cup finalist University of Louisville.
Click here to view the Timbers U-23s roster for the 2011 PDL season.
The Timbers U-23s is the development team of Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers and competes in the PDL’s Northwest Division. The Timbers U-23s assembled a historic season in 2010, posting a perfect 20-0-0 record throughout the campaign and becoming the first undefeated champion in league history. The team plays a 16-match, regular-season schedule against teams from Washington and British Columbia. The PDL is North America’s top U-23 league and serves as a development ground for young, up-and-coming players.