Timbers announce first five signings for 2007

The Portland Timbers today announced the signing of midfielders Neil Dombrowski and Ricardo ‘Kiki’ Lara and the re-signings of defender Garrett Marcum and midfielders Tom Poltl and Troy Ready.

Dombrowski, 22, comes to Portland after spending his rookie season with the Rochester Raging Rhinos, also of the USL First Division. With the Rhinos, Dombrowski made six appearances, including his first-ever professional start against the Timbers at PGE Park on May 19.

Prior to turning professional, Dombrowski was a four-year (2002-05) standout at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he helped lead the Panthers to the second round of the NCAA tournament four consecutive seasons. Dombrowski was also named first team all-Horizon League and second team academic All-American following his senior season.

Lara, 25, joins the Timbers after spending the previous two seasons with the Minnesota Thunder. While in the Twin Cities, Lara featured in 47 games and logged 2,351 minutes while also scoring a goal and tallying eight assists.

A four-year starter and three-time Division II All-American while at the University of the Incarnate Word, Lara scored 11 goals and tallied 26 assists in 81 games for the Cardinals. Lara also was a back-to-back recipient of the Heartland Conference MVP award in 2002-03.

Marcum, 27, returns to the Timbers for a fourth season. Last year, Marcum made 11 appearances for the Timbers and logged more than 600 minutes on the field. A four-year starter at the University of Portland prior to joining the Timbers, Marcum also serves as a coach with the Lake Oswego Soccer Club.

Poltl, 29, marks his third season with the Timbers in 2007 after joining the team from the Orange County Blue Star of the Premier Development League. Last season, Poltl made 22 appearances in midfield for the club, playing more than 1,247 minutes during the season. Initially drafted as the 20th overall pick in the 1999 MLS SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids, Poltl also spent time in training camps with the L.A. Galaxy and the New England Revolution before playing with the Boston Bulldogs, formerly of United Soccer Leagues.

Poltl played collegiate soccer at UCLA for four years (1995-98) and was a member of the Bruins’ 1997 national championship team. A Soccer News All-American in 1997 and twice an All-Far West selection (1997, 1998), Poltl spent three years with the U.S. Men’s Under-20 National Team from 1995-97.

Ready, 26, returns to the Timbers for a second season. Ready made 11 appearances last season, scoring the winning goal in just his second game for the Timbers. A former University of Washington midfielder, he earned Pac-10 All-Academic honors his junior year. Prior to joining the Cascade Surge in 2005, Ready also spent time with the Spokane Shadow of the Premier Development League, ranking second all-time among the franchise’s career leaders in games played (74).

“The common thread of all of these players is commitment and character,” said Gavin Wilkinson, head coach and general manager of the Timbers. “All of these players are extremely talented and will be expected to have a big impact on the team during the 2007 season.”