Portland Timbers have, to my knowledge, a very unique situation in developing home grown players. By having managing a U-23 squad the Timbers get the homegrown rights to players that play over 1 year with the team. They also allow these players to continue to develop in college soccer, like member of the College Cup finalist University of Louisville Buck Tufty.
The roster for the Portland Timbers U-23's were released today and to my surprise not all of them were under 23 years old. This is due to the fact that 8 overage players are allowed to be on the team per league rules. So dust off that One T uniform and get out to a PDL game because Scot Thompson is back!
Joining the Timbers U-23s this season are veteran defenders Ross Smith and Scot Thompson, who will provide leadership and experience on the backline featuring several new players, including Nosa Iyoha and recent New Zealand U-18 National Team member Luis Esteves. Smith and Thompson are listed among the eight overage players allowed per team by the PDL.
I had a feeling I was missing something with my understanding of the Homegrown status and I was right, per MLS I found this: (especially bullet point 2)
- All players must reside in a team's "Home Territory" for at least one year prior to being added to the team's Home Grown Player List.
- Players must be added to an MLS team's Home Grown Player List prior to entering a four-year college, but can maintain their Home Grown Player status during college if registered before entering that institution.
- Members of the U17, U20, and U23 U.S. 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 U.S. National team at a later date.