The Portland Timbers have been among the most tight-lipped franchises in Major League Soccer this offseason, holding off as long as possible before announcing their end of year cuts and re-signings. Not every team is as patient, however, and as a result we have our first confirmed departure of the season.
Forward Ben Polk, taken with the No. 20 pick in the 2016 MLS Superdraft, has been signed by Orlando City B along with three other players, the USL announced today. No mention was made of how Polk came to be available, other than referring to him as a “former Portland Timbers 2” player.
During his time with the Timbers, Polk did not make a first team appearance, but was a regular with T2, making 25 appearances for the USL side and scoring one goal in his 1144 minutes. Competing on the T2 roster with a deep group of young attacking talent including his fellow draftee Neco Brett and teenagers Blake Bodily and Victor Arboleda, Polk was unable to make his impact in the T2 setup, making a change of scenery unsurprising for the first year pro.
Interestingly, Polk has been removed from the MLS players listings for the Timbers, but not from the Timbers’ players page. Other players this holds true for include Dairon Apsrilla and Chris Klute, who are both on loan from the club through the end of the calendar year, while Michael Seaton is listed on the MLS page but not on the Timbers page.