The Portland Timbers' Youth System is Only Getting Bigger

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

SoccerWire.com has a detailed report on what the Timbers's academy sysem has been up to in the past year.

A report over on SoccerWire.com has a detailed account of the current Portland Timbers' youth system and how it has expanded to become a truly state wide (including Vancouver, WA) system to ensnare Oregon's most prominent youths into one day potentially starring for the team. While the Timbers' U-23 side is well documented in the Premier Development League, the Timbers also control a U-18 and a U16 side. According to the article, a U-14 squad will soon be added.

According to Mike Smith, the Timbers' Academy director:

"The initial idea was to have an Alliance club partner in each of the markets that we had the Regional Training Centers. We could help that club out, make sure that club was developing coaches and players in the right way, and also then would be able to provide location, fields, some staff coach help to help develop our Regional Training Centers. It would be a mutually beneficial arrangement."

So far, it appears to be working. As of now, there are Timbers Alliance clubs in Beaverton, Gresham, Vancouver, Bend and Medford. The team is reportedly also looking at establishing or bringing one in from Eugene and Salem, two notable omissions.

One thing to note, however, is that players playing for one of these alliance clubs don't automatically become Timbers homegrown players. Brent Richards and Steven Evans were the exceptions, not the rule. According to the article a player must compete in 80 training sessions and/or matches each year, followed up with 30 training sessions/matches with the club while in college. This is where the Timbers' U-23 squad comes in as many of the current crop of U-23 members are, in fact, also in college.

Still, it's not all about creating elite players who can one day represent the first team on the field. According to Smith:

"We would like to create elite players through this pyramid, but ... the idea is that if we can help them be soccer fans and come to games and enjoy the experience, then hopefully they'll keep playing. We're just trying to instill passion and enjoyment of the game."

I highly recommend checking out the full article. What you've read here was just a very small portion of it.

[via SoccerWire.com]

What do you think of the Portland Timbers' current academy efforts?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Stumptown Footy

You must be a member of Stumptown Footy to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Stumptown Footy. You should read them.

Join Stumptown Footy

You must be a member of Stumptown Footy to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Stumptown Footy. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker