Timbers U-23s Notebook: Sherrod, Brenes invited to MLS combine

PORTLAND, Ore. – The 2013 men’s college soccer season wrapped up over the weekend with Notre Dame winning the College Cup. As the calendar turns to 2014 in the coming weeks, two members of the 2013 Portland Timbers U-23s now turn their attention to the possible next stages of their playing careers.

Timbers U-23s forwards Mark Sherrod and Reinaldo Brenes are among the 50 NCAA Division I college seniors invited to participate in the 2014 adidas MLS Player Combine held Jan. 10-14 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Joining the pair invited to the combine is former Timbers U-23s goalkeeper Spencer Richey, who played for the team in 2012.

The three players are looking to join the list of Timbers U-23s alumni selected in the MLS SuperDraft. Among them, Erik Hurtado (No. 5 overall) and Emery Welshman (No. 16 overall) were selected in the first round of the SuperDraft a year ago.

A committee of NCAA Division I coaches from every conference and a panel of MLS representatives selected the invitees to the 2014 combine, all of whom completed their college eligibility this season. All invited players are eligible for selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, presented by adidas, on Jan. 16, 2014, in Philadelphia.

Sherrod, 23, had a standout collegiate career at the University of Memphis, capping his career with NSCAA All-America honors. He played two seasons with the Timbers U-23s from 2012-13, playing in 24 regular-season games and registering 11 goals and five assists. Sherrod was named to the 2012 PDL All-League team and twice helped the Timbers U-23s reach the Western Conference finals.

Brenes, 21, starred at the University of Akron, where he was an All-Mid-American Conference first-team selection and an All-American in 2013. With the Timbers U-23s in 2013, he recorded two goals in six regular-season games.  

Timbers U-23s bring home more honors from 2013 NCAA campaign
Players from the Timbers U-23s’ 2013 roster continue to collect collegiate honors, three of which earned all-region honors for their play during the 2013 NCAA season. Sherrod was named to the NSCAA Division I All-Midwest Region First Team, while defender Craig Nitti (LMU) and forward Clark Phillips (Gonzaga) received second-team honors for the All-Far West Region.

For a second consecutive season, Brenes was named an Academic All-American by CoSIDA. He carries a 3.74 GPA in his studies at Akron as an international business major.

Members of the Timbers U-23s peppered the all-conference lists for the West Coast Conference, with goalkeeper Paul Blanchette highlighting the honors as the conference’s Goalkeeper of the Year. Additionally, Nitti and midfielder John McFarlin (LMU) were first-team selections, while Blanchette, Phillips and defender Mark Daus (Santa Clara) were named to the second team. Defender Jack McCracken (LMU) was a conference honorable mention.