What is the Timbers and Thorns Regional Training Center (RTC) Program?
The Timbers/Thorns Regional Training Center program is a nationally recognized identification program put in place by the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns to train, develop and identify the top players in the state of Oregon and southwest Washington.
The Timbers and Thorns have created Regional Training Centers throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington; Portland West, Portland East, Portland North/Vancouver, and Portland South. These most heavily populated areas of the state serve as the hub for soccer development in the state for players ages 9-12. RTC players are put through a training program that includes 6 training sessions in the fall and a further 6 training sessions in the spring.
The goal of the RTC program has always been to increase participation and elite opportunities in each part of the state by limiting travel and expense while also creating competition and elite coaching in each part of the state for players. The program has been a massive success in finding the top players in the state who have moved on to ODP, Academy and Timbers and Thorns first teams.
What is the Timbers and Thorns Regional Development Program? (RDP)
Regional Development Program (RDP) is a new program for the 2023-24 RTC season. To provide competitive environments for the elite players during the RTC training process, the Timbers/Thorns RTC program will select a group of players (from the 4 RTC locations) in the U11 and U12 age groups who will compete in two events during the RTC training cycle on the Regional Development Program (RDP) team. Teams will compete in the Cal-North/Colorado Friendly in early February and the OYSA Friendship Cup, Memorial Day weekend in May.
A pool of 20-25 players will be identified in both the RTC training and the fall ID event to compete and then to participate in these two events for each age group and a selected coaching staff will be put in place by the Timbers Academy. Both events will be scouted by the Timbers Academy and both RDP teams will have specific training sessions (separate from RTC) prior to the two events based out of the Timbers Training Facility.
Why Regionalize RTC?
Creating the different pools in all parts of the state creates a competitive environment for players in those areas. It creates excitement to play for a select team in your area of the state. It limits traveling for parents and players, and it gives players the opportunity to play for the Timbers and Thorns state select team and improve as soccer players. These programs do not replace the club team experience for players, but these programs do create an elite opportunity for the best of the best to play with and against each other. It also creates development by playing with and against the best on a consistent basis. We are not here to replace your club team experience. We excuse all players from our events if there is a club conflict as well.
Why should I participate in Timbers/Thorns RTC?
The RTC program is a youth pathway to soccer success at the highest levels. Timbers/Thorns RTC gives players the chance at a young age to participate in a major league development program. The Timbers/Thorns goal is to develop players here in the state with the idea of identifying homegrown talent.
By challenging your players in a competitive setting, we are giving players the chance to develop and improve, while creating an environment that challenges them to become better player.
The RTC structure also gives players the chance to work with the top coaches in the state who are here to develop players. The coaching staff within the RTC program will have direct access and content from the Portland Timbers Academy programs. The coaches involved will use coaching methodology, game model and training session plans from the Timbers Academy to enhance the RTC players experience within our program. Coaches will also receive regular feedback and further coaching education opportunities.