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Another Not so Unexpected Signing: Joe Bendik

The Portland Timbers made official another signing today. Bednik has shown great abilities and looks to be challenging Gleeson for the back-up spot and will be a great addition to the team. Here is the press release:

The Portland Timbers today announced the signing of goalkeeper Joe Bendik. He signs with the club after playing the past two seasons in Norway with Sogndal. Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson made the announcement.

Bendik, 22, began his professional career abroad in 2010, appearing in 11 matches overall for Sogndal and helping the club gain promotion in to Norway's first division following the 2010 campaign. A member of the U.S. National Team at the U-17 and U-18 levels, Bendik was a standout at Clemson University, where he finished his collegiate career ranked among school leaders in several goalkeeping statistics.

"Joe is a young and upcoming goalkeeper that has done well in preseason," said Timbers head coach John Spencer. "He has definitely raised the level of goalkeeping for the Timbers squad."

A native of Marietta, Ga., Bendik worked his way to a starting role with Sogndal as a rookie in 2010, starting the final four matches of the season as the club earned promotion to top-flight league Tippeligaen. He made five appearances in the Tippeligaen during the 2011 season.

At Clemson, Bendik was a three-year starter and played in 61 matches. He was an All-ACC second-team selection in 2008 and logged a collegiate-career best 1.39 goals-against average his senior season in 2009. Bendik finished his career with the Tigers ranked among the school's career leaders in wins, saves, shutouts and goalkeeper minutes played.

Bendik was a member of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in 2005 and helped the U.S. U-17 National Team to the finals of the Ballymena International Tournament in Northern Ireland that year. With the U.S. U-18 National Team, Bendik helped the side to a fourth-place finish in the 2006 Slovakia Cup.

Joe Bendik
Position: Goalkeeper
Height: 6-3
Weight: 205
Born: April 25, 1989, in Marietta, Ga.
Hometown: Marietta, Ga.
Last Club: Sogndal (Norway)
College: Clemson University
Citizenship: United States