The Portland Timbers' new affiliate, Portland Timbers 2, start their first preseason this afternoon. Following on the heels of the Timbers' first team practice, T2, as they are called, will bring together a groups of Timbers draftees, overseas prospects, and probably some surprises as well.
To date, T2 has signed two players that we know of: former Timbers homegrown signing Steven Evans and Ghanaian forward/midfielder Fatawu Safiu, who has trained with the Timbers' first team for most of the preseason but who is still not officially part of the team despite Caleb Porter's acknowledgment of his signing.
The Timbers should have a number of trialists in camp, possibly as many as twelve according to comments from Porter at first team practice last Friday. With Safiu and Evans already on the roster and roster size likely to be kept small for flexibility in accepting loans from the first team, T2 may have more players set to be announced as signed, but the number will likely be small.
Among the players looking for a spot with T2 will be several of the Timbers' less well-rated draftees. Christian Volesky, Kharlton Belmar, and the as-of-yet-unseen Seth Casiple will all likely be vying for spots with T2. Nick Belser, Anthony Manning, and Andrew Thoma, meanwhile, will likely spend the majority of their seasons with T2, but should come on loan from the first team, rather than signing with T2 outright.
Beyond the new arrivals, the Timbers will likely have a number of other players who will spend the majority of their time with T2 as well. Jake Gleeson, who may not practice today due to an ankle knock that kept him out of practice last week, will likely be the T2 starter this year. He will also be joined by players like Taylor Peay, Schillo Tshuma, and George Fochive, all of whom look poised to not play significant minutes for the first team again this year.
Check back this afternoon for a quick write-up of T2's first training session and the low down on just who was on hand.
While we are talking about T2, we are in need of someone to cover some T2 matches this season. If you think you would be a good fit, email me here and tell me about yourself. -Will