With the 20th pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, the Portland Timbers have selected English forward Ben Polk out of Syracuse University. Polk, 23, is known as a scrappy and energetic player up top who can play multiple positions across the front line.
It remains to be seen how Polk will fit into the Timbers current set up, but as with many unproven, young players the Timbers may opt to stash him with T2 for the 2016 as they look to develop him into a first team player. However, with Polk's versatility and the Timbers current lack of options on the wing, it is not out of the question that he could earn a spot on the first team roster.
Update: It appears that Polk has already signed with MLS and therefore will be on the Timbers' first team roster.
Polk was born in Arizona, then lived in Saudi Arabia and England before returning to the United States for college. Starting out in the junior college ranks, Polk was a scoring machine for Herkimer Community College in western New York before transferring to Syracuse University for his senior year where he was part of the Orange squad that made it to the NCAA tournament semifinals.
Polk's story was written up on MLSsoccer.com before the draft and is decidedly worth checking out.
While with Herkimer, Polk scored 46 goals in just 34 games. Once he found himself up against the stronger competition in Division 1 with Syracuse, the scoring slowed somewhat, but Polk still got on the board 12 times in 23 games for the Orange.