"We are excited to see where the boys are," Timbers Academy kicks off this weekend

Rubio Rubin

The Timbers Academy teams--fresh from announcing their inaugural rosters--take to the field for the first time this weekend against the academy squads of Chivas USA and LA Galaxy

TopDrawerSoccer.com interviewed Academy co-director Mike Smith about the challenges of starting the program and the season:

“We know that thanks to U.S. Soccer we got an easy weekend to start off,” Timbers Academy Director Mike Smith jokingly told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “It is the highest level of competition [playing Chivas USA and Galaxy]. After four weeks of preseason, we are excited to see where the boys are. It will be a good learning lesson for us.”

The article also talks about Timbers U-16 winger Rubio Rubin who was a member of the adidas Timbers Alliance club Westside Timbers and is training with the US U17 Residency program in Florida.

Meanwhile, U.S. Soccer Development Academy technical advisor Rob Becerra gives USsoccer.com a preview of the Timbers' Western Conference. 

Finally, central Oregon's Bend Bulletin has a good article on Timbers U-16 player Logan Riemhofer who is bypassing his high school team in Bend for the opportunity to be a part of the Timbers Academy. Though a difficult decision, his former coach at Mountain View High School, Chris Rogers, gives his full support:

“As bad as you want him to stay and play for you, (the academy) is so much more important a place to go for his development. I told him if I had that chance (in high school) I would have jumped at the opportunity," he added.

“This is the absolutely best thing for American soccer," Rogers says. “We’re finally doing what the rest of the world has done for the past 50 years."

“I want him to play for that team (the Timbers’ MLS club)," Rogers says. “I want to watch him play professionally and know I did everything I could to help him along the way."