PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers announced today the signing of academy forward Tega Ikoba as an MLS Homegrown Player through the 2024 season. Ikoba becomes the fourth prospect of the Timbers Academy program to sign a Homegrown Player contract since the club’s inaugural season in 2011.
“We are delighted to announce the signing of Tega and would like to thank his family for putting their trust in our club and academy. Tega has spent a considerable amount of time with the first team over the last couple of years and has shown continuous growth throughout the years,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “His skill set and attributes make him a very exciting player to watch, and we look forward to his maturation as a player.”
Ikoba, 18, played one collegiate season at the University of North Carolina (2021), where he tallied a team-best 6 goals and 2 assists in 19 games played (10 starts), earning ACC All-Freshman Team honors.
“We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to sign our academy player, Tega, with the first team. He brings a different dynamic to our attack and has enormous potential as a young player,” said Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese. “We appreciate the support of Tega’s family in making this be possible and look forward to helping him develop as a great forward.”
INTERVIEW | Tega Ikoba talks with Jake Zivin about signing for the Timbers
The Madison, Ala., native made seven appearances (5 starts) for T2 in 2020 while with the Timbers Academy. Ikoba joined the Timbers for their 2020 preseason in Costa Rica and 2021 preseason in Arizona, registering Portland’s first goal in a 3-1 win against the Phoenix Rising at the 2021 Visit Tucson Sun Cup.
Transaction: Portland Timbers sign forward Tega Ikoba as a Homegrown Player on Jan. 12, 2022.
Born: Aug. 14, 2003, in Bettendorf, Iowa
College: University of North Carolina
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Signed as a Homegrown Player for the 2022 season on Jan. 11, 2022