PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Timbers have signed defender Ryan Kawulok, the club’s first-round selection in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft, it was announced today. Per league and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson made the announcement.
Kawulok, 22, was selected No. 8 overall by the Timbers in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft. He was a member of the club’s development team, the Portland Timbers U-23s, for two seasons, and becomes the fourth Timbers U-23s player to sign with the first team. Kawulok recently completed his collegiate career at the University of Portland and was named the West Coast Conference’s defender of the year as a senior in 2011.
“This is a great opportunity for Ryan, and we are pleased to have him on this team,” said Timbers head coach John Spencer. “He is a talented player that has proved himself at every level coming up, and we’re very familiar with what he has to offer after his successes at the University of Portland and with the Timbers U-23s.”
A native of Fort Collins, Colo., Kawulok was a stalwart on the backline for the Timbers U-23s, appearing in 34 matches and scoring five goals over his two years with the team from 2010-11. He helped lead the Timbers U-23s to the Premier Development League championship in 2010, as the team posted a perfect 20-0-0 record through the regular season and playoffs. Kawulok was a two-time PDL All-Western Conference selection, and recorded the second hat trick in team history during the 2010 campaign.
Kawulok started all 20 games and registered two goals and two assists for the University of Portland as a senior in 2011. He was a four-year starter for the Pilots, starting all 82 of his collegiate appearances and collecting All-West Coast Conference honors all four seasons, including two first-team selections. He helped lead the Pilots to the third round of the NCAA tournament as a junior in 2010. Following his senior season, he was named the WCC Defender of the Year, becoming just the second Pilot in school history to land the league’s defensive player of the year award.
Kawulok becomes the fourth Timbers U-23s player to sign with the Timbers’ first team, joining midfielder Freddie Braun, goalkeeper Jake Gleeson and forward Brent Richards. All four players were part of the Timbers U-23s championship-winning team in 2010.
Born: Dec. 29, 1989, in Boulder, Colo.
Hometown: Fort Collins, Colo.
Last Club: Portland Timbers U-23s (PDL)
College: University of Portland
Citizenship: United States