T2 opening their season on Sunday with 3-1 victory over Real Monarchs. With so many new faces, we will be profiling the 20 players signed or loaned to the USL side.
We continue with forward Brent Richards.
Born: May 20, 1990
Hometown: Camas, Wash.
Last Club: Portland Timbers (MLS)
College: University of Washington
Rickards, 24, returns to the Timbers organization after a two-year layoff while recovering from multiple knee surgeries, which is detailed in this article from The Columbian.
The Timbers' original Homegrown Player, Richards was signed prior to the 2012. Debuting on May 30 during the U.S. Open Cup and his MLS debut on July 14 against the LA Galaxy. Making 9 appearances (2 starts) with the first team and was the second leading scorer (3 goals) with the Timbers Reserves, Richards was sidelined after suffering a knee injury during the 2013 Preseason.
Prior to joining the Timbers, Richards played with the Timbers U23s, scoring 26 goals in 37 appearances in three PDL seasons (2009-2001), and was named the PDL Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year for the 2010 season, where the U-23s finished a perfect 16-0 and won the PDL Championship, along with Steven Evans and Jake Gleeson.
A four year starter at the University of Washington from 2008-2011, where he was a teammate of fellow T2 players Taylor Peay and Andy Thoma, Richards left the Huskies in the top 10 for goals (31, 9th) and points (77, T-10th) and leading the team in scoring each season. was named to multiple All-American teams his junior and senior seasons, and was a All Pacific-10/12 selection each season.
A Camas-native who played his club soccer with Eastside United in Gresham, Richards played under Timbers GM Gavin Wilkinson for 5 years, allowing him to be grandfathered into the Timbers system, despite the Timbers not having a formal Academy set up until 2012.
Previously appearing for the Timbers and playing collegiate as a forward, T2 coach Jay Vidovich appears to envision Richards to right back, trying his at the position during the preseason.
Richards comes to T2 looking to restart his career after recovering from significant ACL and MCL injuries. Unfortunately, it appears he has already had a setback, as he underwent meniscus surgery last week, according to this tweet from The Oregonian's Jamie Goldberg:
T2's Brent Richards underwent knee surgery for a meniscus injury last week #RCTID— Jamie Goldberg (@Jamiebgoldberg) March 25, 2015
If Richards is able to move past the injuries, he has shown promise in his time with the Timbers as a solid attacking player with a nose for goal and had high aspirations entering the 2013 season, as well as great leaping ability and a long throw-in, attributes that served him well in his previous stint with the Timbers and will continue to in the future.
Highlights from his time with the Huskies and U23s can be found below: