PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers have acquired defensive midfielder/central defender Lawrence Olum from Sporting Kansas City in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money and the Timbers natural first-round pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, it was announced today.
Olum, who played for the USL First Division Timbers from 2007-08, returns to Portland after spending six of the past seven seasons in MLS with Sporting Kansas City, compiling 86 regular-season appearances (57 starts), five goals and three assists. Additionally, Olum helped Sporting Kansas City claim the 2013 MLS Cup and 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles, featuring in both matches.
“The acquisition of Lawrence Olum gives us a player with significant MLS experience and the ability to play several positions, with no transitional risk,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “We are pleased to welcome Lawrence back to the Portland Timbers.”
Acquired by Sporting Kansas City midway through the 2011 campaign, Olum, 32, appeared in at least 20 regular-season matches in three consecutive seasons with the club (2012-2014). Additionally, Olum made 14 overall appearances for Sporting Kansas City in the U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League (2012-2014), before signing with Malaysian side Kedah FA in 2015.
“Lawrence will give our club another MLS experienced player at defensive mid and central defender. He will also increase our size in the squad, which is important in this league,” said Caleb Porter, head coach of the Timbers. “We look forward to his contributions, as I know he’s eager to be back in Portland playing in front of the Timbers Army again."
During the 2016 campaign, Olum made 19 regular-season appearances (17 starts) with Sporting KC, recording two goals and one assist in 1,469 minutes played.
Olum began his professional career with the Timbers in 2007, making 44 appearances in two USL seasons with the club, before signing with the Minnesota Thunder, and later playing for the Austin Aztex and Orlando City SC in USL.
Transaction: Portland Timbers acquire defensive midfielder/central defender Lawrence Olum from Sporting Kansas City in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money and the Timbers natural first-round pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft
Position: Defensive midfielder/central defender
Born: July 10, 1984, in Nairobi, Kenya
Last Club: Sporting Kansas City
College: Missouri Baptist University
Acquired: Acquired from Sporting Kansas City in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money and the Timbers natural first-round pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft