Timbers select two strikers in 2007 draft

PORTLAND, Ore. –The Portland Timbers today selected forwards Lyle Martin from Cal State Bakersfield and Colin Rigby from Seattle Pacific University with their two picks in the 2007 United Soccer League First Division College Player Draft, held via conference call from the league’s headquarters in Tampa, Fla.

The Timbers had the fourth and 20th overall picks in this year’s draft. Portland picked Martin with its first-round pick and Rigby with its second selection in the draft.

“We selected two quality forwards,” said head coach Gavin Wilkinson. “Both are hard-working, quality kids that can put the ball in the back of the net.”

Martin, from Bakersfield, Calif., finished his Cal State-Bakersfield career by winning the 2006 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) goal-scoring title with 17 goals in 19 matches. He also became just the fourth Roadrunner to amass 40 points in a season. A versatile player, Martin, 21, played most of his junior year on the backline, scoring four goals and earning first-team All-CCAA honors. In 2004, Martin scored six goals and recorded four assists as a sophomore, earning All-CCAA honorable mention. Martin, who was selected by Chivas USA in the Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft earlier this month, also played for the USL’s Premier Development League’s Bakersfield Brigade from 2005-2006.

Rigby, from Mercer Island, Wash., began his collegiate career at Denver University but transferred to Seattle Pacific (SPU) for his junior and senior seasons. Rigby, 21, who scored a team- and career-high seven goals as a senior in 2006, earned Greater Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) first-team honors and was a member of the NSCAA All-Far West Region second team for his breakout season. During his college career, Rigby played in 70 games, scored 11 goals, tallied nine assists and made two NCAA tournament appearances with SPU in 2005 and 2006.  

The USL First Division College Player Draft was comprised of two rounds of 13 picks. As in the past, the draft order was determined by ranking teams in reverse order of their 2006 regular-season finish. The Carolina Railhawks and California Victory, both expansion franchises in 2007, received the first and second picks in each round respectively.

With the first pick in the draft, Carolina selected Sola Abolaji from Buffalo University.  

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 were eligible for the draft.