Timbers sign MLS defender Cameron Knowles

The Portland Timbers announced today the signing of defender Cameron Knowles from Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake to a two-year contract. Knowles, a native of New Zealand, played in 12 matches for Real Salt Lake’s reserve squad in 2006.

“Cameron is a player we’ve had our eye on since last season,” said Timbers general manager and head coach Gavin Wilkinson. “He possesses height and good communication skills, two traits which I feel are important for defenders. I have high expectations for Cameron, and I am excited to see how he fits in.”

Knowles, selected in the fourth round of the 2005 MLS Supplemental Draft, played in four matches – including three starts – for Real Salt Lake in 2005. Over the last two seasons, Knowles appeared in all 22 matches for the Real Salt Lake Reserves and finished each season among reserve leaders in minutes played.

A four-year starter at the University of Akron, Knowles, 24, helped the Zips make four straight NCAA tournament appearances. As a senior in 2004, Knowles captained a defense that allowed just three goals and recorded 13 shutouts in league play. His performance that season helped Akron capture the Mid-American Conference (MAC) title for the second time in three seasons. Knowles was a two-time All-MAC first team selection and was Akron’s “Newcomer of the Year” in 2001.

The 6-foot-3 Knowles joined the New Zealand U-16 National Team at the age of 15 and began playing elite men’s club soccer at 16. After high school, he was chosen to represent his home country in the 1999 FIFA World Championships but broke his leg three weeks prior to the U-17 World Cup and was unable to play.

The signing of Knowles brings the Timbers’ list of roster players for the 2007 season to 12.

Portland kicks off its seventh USL First Division season at PGE Park on Saturday, April 21, against the Puerto Rico Islanders. A variety of season ticket options are available by calling the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555.