So this news is actually about two weeks old at this point. It was something I've been meaning to write about because it's actually a pretty important development as far as our youth system goes, but with the tournament and other Portland Timbers news it just kind of got swept under the rug, an unfortunate reality when there's so much going on.
Anyway, as of late February three of the Portland area's most elite youth development clubs have officially partnered with the Timbers. Those clubs are: Eastside United, Westside Metros and the Columbia Timbers. Each club will hence be renamed: Eastside Timbers, Westside Timbers and Vancouver United Timbers respectively. Those of you familiar with the Brent Richards saga that happened earlier this year will also remember that the current Timbers forward was a member of Eastside United as a youth.
"Each of these clubs shares a passion and a vision for developing youth players and providing elite opportunities for youth," said Timbers Academy Director Mike Smith. "These clubs are excellent community ambassadors for the sport and excel at player development."
With the partnership, the three youth sides will benefit from coaching resource for both the boys and girls youth development teams. The latter is obviously an important mark because, at the very least, it shows that the Timbers are beginning to invest something in women's soccer.
Additionally, the Timbers have future plans to form an elite girls division as part of the Oregon’s ODP program and the club’s academy structure.
Anyway, this is good news for fans of youth development as it will likely mean better and more experienced youths who will be available to the Timbers as they get older.