SuperDraft | Quote Sheet from Caleb Porter about the Portland Timbers selections

2015 MLS SuperDraft Quote Sheet
Jan. 15, 2015
Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
On No. 5 overall pick Nick Besler:
“I think when you compare him to some of the other players that were available at that position, he’s one of the most MLS-ready guys in the draft. He’s got a great mentality. He comes from a really good program at Notre Dame -- won a national championship, he was a captain and played for a good coach in Bobby Clark – and he’s got the pedigree. We feel based on all those considerations that he’s going to be a really valuable pick for us. He’s also versatile, he can play holding mid or central defender, so we’re pleased.”

On speaking with Besler prior to the draft:
“We spoke at length actually several times. Obviously we do our homework and our research. We’re very thorough. We really liked him as a kid as well. His character, his mentality – all the intangible things. We have a team now that’s deep, but ultimately we’re still looking to fill roles. We feel like these guys are going to fill a role and they bring some different qualities to the table than what we had.”

On the qualities of the second-round picks:
“I think you look at trying to find guys that can give you depth and guys that can fill a role. When you look at Andy Thoma, he’s one of the highest-rated left backs in the draft. He’s a guy that is another specialist – he’s left-sided, he’s an attacking back and he fits our system. Maybe he didn’t have as good of a combine as some of the others, which is why he might have fallen, but we do our homework and we don’t base all our decisions off the combine.”

“In our final two picks, we went with two guys that are very athletic. Christian Volesky – he’s a real sleeper, but in saying that, he was the MLS Combine MVP and he was the second-most athletic player based on the testing. We think he’s a guy that can play anywhere along the front three, most likely wide, and bring some pace and power. Whether he’ll be ready for the first team, we don’t know, but he’ll have time to develop under Jay Vidovich with T2. He has some qualities that are interesting and exciting.”

(Kharlton Belmar) is a beast. He’s extremely athletic He wasn’t at the combine so some people might not know about him. He played for our U-23s, so that’s how we know him, and he also played for my former assistant at Virginia Commonwealth.”

Overall thoughts on the draft:
“It's difficult to evaluate a successful draft until the players arrive and earn their place but were happy with how it went. We spent a lot of time and obviously a lot of long hours in preparing to be ready for this and not leaving any stones unturned figuring out the order and rank of these guys. Our staff has done a tremendous job this week and in the months leading up to get to this point where we hopefully selected the right players who can transition to MLS and eventually make an impact for our club. Obviously, only time will tell and for some guys it might be down the road, but the way I see it a successful draft at this stage in our club’s evolution is being able to get any player that sticks as a depth piece or eventual starter. Based on that I think we've chosen players that will have a good chance to break in sooner or later.”