Timbers Academy: March Players of the Month

Timbers Academy recognizes Eric Izoita (U17) and Aric Mata (U15) as March's Players of the Month.

The Portland Timbers Academy has announced Players of the Month for March 2024. With a combined record of 2-4-0 in MLS NEXT play and kickoff of the 2024 Generation adidas Cup, the third month of 2024 brought mixed results for the young Timbers. Despite the challenges, two players rose above the rest to earn their laurels.

For the U17s, defender Eric Izoita receieves the award following one of his most impressive runs of form.

"Eric has been one of the most improved and consistent players over the last month resulting in excellent performances. In 10 games, Eric assisted or was directly involved in seven goals. He has been playing with confidence expressing his attacking qualities, which has made him integral to the way we play. He has worked hard and led by example in both training and games," said U17s head coach Darren Back.

Eric Izoita in action against St. Louis at 2024 GA Cup. March 30, 2024

On the field for the U15s, March was a learning experience. Having newly arrived to the Academy, Aric Mata showed grit and fight throughout that process and his merit's on the field didn't go unseen. Mata has been a jack-of-all trades for the Academy, and it's that sort of commitment that earned him praise.

"Aric trained for a few weeks in February/March, then left for USYNT camp. He played at Real Salt Lake immediately upon returning to help team rotation. The next week he played a full match at GA Cup. It is impressive for a young player away from his parents who did not have much time to adapt to the environment. He handles himself well with the adjustment to a new development and performance scenario," said U15 head coach Fernando Pessoa.

Aric Mata in action against Cincinnati at 2024 GA Cup. March 30, 2024.