As any supporter of the Portland Timbers should know, four former members of the U-23s have been promoted to the first team since the team’s inception in 2008. Two of the now-first teamers (Freddie Braun and Jake Gleeson) signed out of the MLS squad’s first training camp. Rookie Ryan Kawulok was signed after being drafted by the Timbers in the supplemental draft, while fellow rookie Brent Richards became the Timbers first Home Grown Player.
While Mark Sherrod and Eric Miller are seeing headlines on the Timbers website, they are not easy signs for the Timbers first team as the Timbers would need to acquire them through the SuperDraft or supplemental draft. The current U-23s have multiple home grown-eligible members of the squad. Here is a look at the HGP-candidates with the U-23s and a quick note on some that are not eligible. (Note: This all is based on the assumption that the way Brent Richards qualified carries over to current U-23ers)
HOME GROWN ELIGIBLE
GONZAGA: Clark Phillips (freshman), Tualatin HS, played for the now-Westside Timbers (Timbers Alliance). Phillips was also rated by TopDrawerSoccer as the No. 9 player in the West Coast Conference this past season.
OREGON STATE: Chris Harms (redshirt junior), Wilson HS, played for the now-Timbers run Oregon ODP and the Eastside Timbers (Timbers Alliance). Roberto Farfan (junior), Centennial HS, also played Oregon ODP and for Eastside Timbers. TopDrawerSoccer viewed Farfan as the No. 9 player in the Pac-12 and No. 92 player in the entire country.
PORTLAND: Steven Evans* (sophomore), Central Catholic HS, was a member of both the Oregon ODP and Eastside Timbers. Evans was rated No. 2 in the West Coast Conference and No. 57 in the country by TopDrawerSoccer. There may be a question as to or not Evans is qualified for HGP status due to his involvement with the United States Youth National Program. Ricardo Carrillo (junior), qualifies through Timbers Alliance and Oregon ODP.
SANTA CLARA: Erik Hurtado* (junior), Westview HS, played for two-time state champion Westside Timbers. Hurtado was rated No. 3 in the WCC and No. 81 in the country by TopDrawerSoccer. Like Evans, there may be a question about Hurtado’s inclusion with the US U-18 program.
WESTERN WASHINGTON: Keegan Rogers (freshman), Portland Christian, has participated in the Oregon ODP and with Eastside Timbers. Rogers also trained with Timbers first team in 2011.
*According to this release from the Red Bulls Academy, "Members of the U-17, U-20 and U-23 US National Teams cannot be added to an MLS team’s Home Grown Player List, but a player already on a Home Grown Player List can maintain that status if selected for a US National Team at a later date."
OTHER RATED PLAYERS
CREIGHTON: Eric Miller, No. 23 freshman in the country.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL: Anthony Hobbs, No. 17 in Conference USA.
MEMPHIS: Mark Sherrod, No. 5 in CUSA, No. 99 in NCAA.
OREGON STATE: Emery Welshman, No. 5 in Pac-12, No. 42 in NCAA. Will Seymore: No. 91 freshman in the country.
WASHINGTON: Spencer Richey, No. 11 in Pac-12, No. 100 in NCAA.