Timbers prepare for USL First Division College Player Draft

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers have the eighth and 20th overall picks in the upcoming 2006 USL First Division College Player Draft, which will be held Tuesday, Jan. 24. The draft, which begins at 12 noon Pacific Time, will be conducted via conference call.

The draft is comprised of two rounds of 12 picks. As in the past, the draft order was determined by ranking teams in reverse order of their 2005 regular-season finish. Miami FC, an expansion franchise, will receive the first pick in each round.

Timbers head coach and general manager Chris Agnello has been in Southern California scouting players at the recent MLS Player Combine and regional amateur matches in anticipation of next week’s draft.

“I’ve seen some very good talent the past couple of weeks,” said Agnello. “I am encouraged by the number of players available, and I am confident there are players out there that can contribute to the Timbers’ success in 2006.”

Only college seniors, other college players with no remaining eligibility, or college or high school players that have expressed in writing that they are forgoing their remaining years of eligibility are qualified for the draft.

In 2005, the Timbers selected forward Justin Cook from Ohio State with their first pick and goalkeeper Dan Kennedy from UC-Santa Barbara with their second-round pick.

The Timbers chose forward Alan Gordon out of Oregon State with the ninth overall pick in the 2004 draft. Gordon went on to garner 2004 A-League Rookie of the Year honors after sharing the league’s goal-scoring title with 17 strikes before moving on to Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy.

Portland kicks off its sixth USL season on Saturday, April 22, against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, B.C. The Timbers open the home portion of their season by playing host to the Whitecaps at PGE Park on Friday, May 5. A variety of season ticket options are available by calling the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555. For ticket information, go to www.portlandtimbers.com.

First Round (12th overall) - Justin Cook, F (Ohio State)
Second Round (24th overall) - Dan Kennedy, GK (UC-Santa Barbara)

First Round (9th overall) - Alan Gordon, F (Oregon State)
Second Round (25th overall) - Leonard Griffin, D (UCLA)

First Round (12th overall) - Ryan Coiner, F (San Diego)
Second Round (31st overall) - Curtis Spiteri, GK (Portland)

First Round (11th overall) - Bryn Ritchie, D (Washington)
Second Round (29th overall) - Ben Somoza, M (Washington)
Third Round (53rd overall) - Jake Sagare, M (Washington)

First Round (21st overall) - Vadim Tolstolutsky, M (Seattle Pacific)

1 - Miami FC
2 - Toronto Lynx
3 - Virginia Beach Mariners
4 - Minnesota Thunder
5 - Charleston Battery
6 - Atlanta Silverbacks
7 - Puerto Rico Islanders
8 - Portland Timbers
9 - Seattle Sounders
10 - Vancouver Whitecaps
11 - Rochester Raging Rhinos
12 - Montreal Impact