Roberto Farfan, Timbers U-23s, 2011
Photo by Miranda Chrislock

A detailed look at the 2012 Timbers U-23s

The Portland Timbers U-23s open their fourth Premier Development League (PDL) season on Friday as they play host to Fraser Valley Mariners FC at JELD-WEN Field. The Timbers U-23s bring back some familiar faces and adds some new ones as the team looks to contend in the PDL’s Northwest Division in 2012.

The Boys Are Back
This season, the Timbers U-23s return seven players who have been with the team previously. Returning for a fourth season are midfielders Roberto Farfan (above) and Steven Evans, local products who have combined for nine goals and seven assists in 53 PDL games.

The Timbers U-23s also return one of their top goal scorers from 2011 in forward Erik Hurtado. Last season, Hurtado shared the team lead with eight goals.

After a season away, the Timbers U-23s see the return of defender Chris Harms, who played two seasons with the team from 2009-10. A Portland native, Harms is coming off an all-conference junior season at Oregon State University.

Other returners include midfielder Ricardo Carrillo, defender Reed Matte and goalkeeper Keegan Rogers. Matte is coming off an all-conference season at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

From our own backyard
The Timbers U-23s continue to field a roster filled with local talent. In 2012, the Timbers U-23s feature seven players from Oregon, including Carrillo (Prineville), Evans (Troutdale), Farfan (Portland), Harms (Portland), Hurtado (Beaverton), Clark Phillips (Portland) and Rogers (Troutdale).

The Timbers U-23s’ roster includes three other players from around the Northwest, including native Washingtonians in goalkeeper Spencer Richey and midfielder/forward Cam Vickers and Surrey, B.C. native Justin Baarts.

Welcome to the Rose City
The Timbers U-23s have a handful of new players from across the United States, getting their first tastes of the Rose City. Midfielders Joey De Mare (College of Charleston) and Anthony Ribeiro (Creighton), defender Anthony Hobbs (Florida International) and forward Mark Sherrod (Memphis) traveled across the country to join the Timbers U-23s for the 2012 season.

A bit shorter of a trek to the Northwest, Southern California players John McFarlin (Loyola Marymount) and Evyn Hewett (San Diego State), join the Timbers U-23s after standout freshman seasons.

In total the 2012 Timbers U-23s represents nine different states/provinces outside of Oregon: Alabama, British Columbia, California, Minnesota, Ontario, Sourth Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin.

The head man
Jim Rilatt returns to lead the Timbers U-23s for a fourth season in 2012. Rilatt, the 2010 PDL Coach of the Year, has been with the team since its inaugural PDL season in 2009. During his time as head coach of the Timbers U-23s Rilatt has compiled a record of 33-9-6.

College roll call
The Timbers U-23s once again feature top players from local colleges, with the University of Portland and Oregon State University being represented the most on the team’s 2012 roster.

The team’s roster includes four players from the University of Portland, including newcomer Marc Tonkel. Three players from OSU join the Timbers U-23s this season, including 2011 All-Pac-12 forward Emery Welshman.

Four Northwest colleges are represented in total by the 2012 Timbers U-23s – UP, OSU, Gonzaga University (Clark Phillips) and the University of Washington (Spencer Richey).

All together the Timbers U-23s will have players on their roster that represent 13 different colleges including: College of Charleston, Creighton University, Florida International University, Oregon State University, San Diego State University, Santa Clara University, Sonoma State University, University of Alabama-Birmingham, University of Memphis, University of Portland and the University of Washington.

International experience
While many players on the Timbers U-23s roster have collegiate experience, two bring recent international experience.

Defender Eric Miller was recently called up by U.S. U-20 National Team, head coach Tab Ramos for a camp in Portland back in March. Miller a standout at Creighton University,  also participated in camps with the U.S. U-20 National Team in January and February and is only of only a few select players to have been called up for each of the team’s camps in 2012.

Hobbs brings experience competing in the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup with New Zealand youth national teams. He has played alongside Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson with the New Zealand U-17 National Team at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup.