USL PRO Timbers in 2015?

It is no secret that Merritt Paulson has entertained running a USL PRO team under the Timbers umbrella. When the news was finally announced that the Timbers would be co-affiliated with Sacramento Republic FC Merritt was quoted as looking into running their own team. LA Galaxy recently launched Galaxy II, the Samsung phone, the first USL team owned by an MLS franchise. Today it was revealed at the New York Red Bulls media day a USL team playing at Red Bull Arena in 2014 almost happened. From Soccer By Ives:

The Red Bulls had initially attempted to get a team off the ground for this season, but could not pull it off in time and are now confident of doing so ahead of the 2015 campaign.

"We’ll definitely do at the end of this year, because the league are now telling every club they need to do it so it won’t be a debate," Roxburgh told SBI on Tuesday. "The third-division team, the (USL Pro) team, I’m sure everybody will be doing it at the end of this year and we’re certainly wanting to do that. We see it as a big, big advantage to have that rather than a Reserve Team because of the regular fixtures, we’ll own the players (and) not the league, and so on and so on, so we see it as a big, big move and a big advantage."

Roxburgh’s comments reveals Major League Soccer’s push to have its clubs establish USL Pro teams, which would be a major step forward for player development in a league where younger players continue to struggle for playing time and opportunities to develop.

Emphasis mine. Read the full article here.

Where does this involve the Timbers? The current agreement with Sacramento Republic FC may only be a test run towards running a USL team. It was curious to me that the agreement with Sacramento Republic FC was only for one year. Some of that may be out of disappointment that San Jose Earthquakes were Johnny-come-lately or Sacramento's desire to entire MLS. The latter doesn't make sense because Sacramento will not be entering MLS play in 2015. However, with today's revelation I'm more convinced Merritt is keeping his option open to running a USL team by 2015.

Thoughts? Will the team be in Eugene? Portland? Boise? Or will the Timbers seek another team's affiliation after this year?

Alright guys, I don't believe I have to say this but, just in case, please do not submit anything racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise not appropriate for even the younger Timbers fans.

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