PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced they will field a team to participate in Major League Soccer’s new second league in the 2022 inaugural season.
Formerly T2, the new team will undergo a rebrand in advance of the 2022 season.
MLS announced the new league with an emphasis on providing clubs with the optimal environment to produce the next generation of players. This lower division will serve as an instrumental pathway between the youth development platform, MLS NEXT, and the professional ranks.
“We made the difficult decision to halt T2 this year knowing that MLS was likely to start its own league in 2022,” said Timbers owner and CEO Merritt Paulson. “Strategically this new league makes a ton of sense. It will be integrated and aligned with all the clubs participating in it and it will be exciting to watch it grow and develop. The Timbers will have a team competing in the new MLS initiative next year and I look forward to it.”
The partnership announced between the Portland Timbers and Hillsboro Hops in October of 2019 will continue in 2022 and the new team will play its home matches at Hillsboro Stadium. The MiLB club will be responsible for running business operations, including marketing, ticketing and sponsorship sales. The Timbers will continue to own and manage soccer operations for the club.
The yet-to-be-named league will consist of a minimum 20 MLS and independently owned clubs. The inaugural season will kick off in late March of 2022 and will conclude with playoffs in the fall and a championship match in early December. Further details, including the league’s name and participating teams in the inaugural season, will be unveiled over the course of this year.
T2 played six seasons in the USL’s first division (2015-20) and are part of the Timbers’ comprehensive vertical development structure that creates a bridge between the Timbers Academy and the Timbers first team.