T2 like to wait until the last minute to announce things. Whether out of necessity or design (there are two other more important clubs to run of course), the 2018 USL season will begin two weeks from today. And with that just around the corner, T2 have announced their first signings of 2018. T2 also have 7 players returning to the team from 2017. High turnover is to be expected when the second team is in essence a one year long tryout to prove you might be able to provide for the first team.
Midfielder Christian Enriquez and Forward Devyn Jambga join from the college ranks, while Goalkeeper Alex Mangels, along with Defenders Josh Phillips and Nathan Smith, join from the lower tier professional ranks.
Enriquez hails from Cal Poly State University, the same institution where the organization found goalkeeper Wade Hamilton. Curiously, Hamilton is not listed as returning to T2, so it is safe to assume that he is no longer with the club and is currently an out-of-contract free agent roaming the soccer wilderness somewhere. Jambga joins after playing four seasons at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. At SIUE, he had 73 games (44 starts), with 15 goals and 6 assists.
The other three new additions to T2 come from the USL and NASL. Alex Mangels had a decent run with USL side Tulsa Roughnecks in 2016. He then joined NASL side San Francisco Deltas and played 1 game with them in 2017. He appears to be the Wade Hamilton replacement. With Attinella and Gleeson vying for the starting spot with the first team, the expectation is Kendall McIntosh will get the majority of the T2 goalkeeper minutes and Mangels will provide backup.
Nathan Smith was a LA Galaxy homegrown player. He spent 2016 with LA II as an academy product, and then signed a HGP contract with the LA Galaxy in March of 2017. He spent 2017 with both the first team LA Galaxy and Los Dos.
Josh Phillips seems to be one of the more veteran signings T2 has made since its first season. At 26 years old he tips the age scale (26 years old is old for T2 right? haha), but brings with him 3 full seasons of USL experience as a starting defender with Colorado Springs Switchbacks (75 games, 73 starts). This is a little more counter to what T2 have done in their two most recent seasons. However, a little USL experience, especially in defense, could be extremely helpful for many of the new players and first team loanees. Especially if Phillips can help mentor and teach everyone what to expect in the USL.
With these 5 new signings, only 7 players return from the 2017 T2 roster. Defenders Lamar Batista, Harold Hanson, and Max Ornstil. Midfielders Terrell Lowe, Andre Lewis, and Renzo Zambrano, along with forward Augustine Williams. But this are likely not the only additions to T2 for 2018. There are strong rumors that Honduran forward Daixron Vuelto has signed with T2 and of course there will be first team players loaned down to T2. Homegrown forward Foster Langsdorf and the previously mentioned Kendall McIntosh are expected to get most, if not all, of their 2018 minutes with T2.
Here is today’s press release:
T2 ANNOUNCE FIVE PLAYER SIGNINGS AHEAD OF 2018 USL SEASONEnriquez, Jambga, Mangels, Phillips and Smith join group of seven returning players as T2 continues preparations for fourth USL campaign
PORTLAND, Ore. – T2 have signed midfielder Christian Enriquez, forward Devyn Jambga, goalkeeper Alex Mangels and defenders Josh Phillips and Nathan Smith for the 2018 USL season, it was announced today.
The five signings join a returning group of players that includes defenders Lamar Batista, Harold Hanson and Max Ornstil, midfielders Andre Lewis, Terrell Lowe and Renzo Zambrano, and forward Augustine Williams.
The club will announce additional roster moves heading into the start of the 2018 USL regular season.
Enriquez, 19, played the past two seasons at Cal Poly State University (2016-17), where he made 33 appearances (30 starts) and tallied one goal and two assists. Enriquez was named the 2016 Big West Conference Freshman of the Year, and has trained with the U.S. U-19 Men’s National Team.
Jambga, 23, played the past four seasons at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (2013-17), where he played in 73 matches (44 starts) and registered 15 goals and six assists. The St. Louis, Mo., native was a 2017 first-team All-Mid-American Conference selection and helped SIUE to the Sweet 16 of the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
Mangels, 24, joins T2 after playing the 2017 season with NASL side San Francisco Deltas, where he made one start. In 2016, Mangels made 17 appearances for USL side Tulsa Roughnecks FC, while leading the USL in save percentage (.782).
Phillips, 26, played the previous three seasons (2015-17) with USL side Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, where he appeared in 75 matches (73 starts) across all competitions with one goal scored.
Smith, 23, joins Portland after spending last season with the LA Galaxy. Signed by the Galaxy as Homegrown Player on March 2, 2017, Smith made 12 appearances (9 starts) for LA during MLS league play. Smith made nine appearances (8 starts) for the Galaxy’s USL affiliate LA Galaxy II in 2017, while playing in 25 matches (21 starts) during the 2016 USL regular season. At the international level, Smith competed for the U.S. National Team at the U-17 level, including playing at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Batista, 19, featured in 20 matches (19 starts) in 2017 for T2, while also being named No. 8 on the 2017 USL 20 Under 20 list, which highlighted the top young players that competed in the USL during the regular season. Batista made one appearance for the Portland Timbers in 2017, starting against Seattle Sounders FC in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fourth-round match on June 13, 2017.
Hanson, 18, appeared in 23 matches (21 starts) last season for T2, registering two assists. Hanson started in his debut for the Timbers against Sounders FC in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fourth-round match on June 13, 2017. The Ontario, Calif., native made his MLS league debut for the Timbers in a 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on July 23, 2017.
Ornstil, 24, played in 19 matches (13 starts) last season for T2, tallying three goals on the year. Additionally, Ornstil played for the Portland Timbers U23 during the 2016 PDL season, where he played in six games and recorded one goal.
Lewis, 23, appeared in 13 matches (13 starts) last year for T2. The Spanish Town, Jamaica, native made one appearance for the Timbers in 2017, starting against Sounders FC in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup fourth-round match on June 13, 2017. Lewis featured in 24 matches (24 starts) for T2 in 2016, registering one goal.
Lowe, 19, returns for a third season with T2 after featuring in 11 matches (5 starts) last season for the club. In 2016, Lowe played in 10 matches (6 starts) after being named the 2015 Timbers Academy Player of the Year.
Zambrano, 23, played in seven matches (7 starts) for T2 last season, registering one assist after signing with the club on Aug. 22, 2017. At the international level, Zambrano has been capped three times by the Venezuelan National Team since making his debut and recording an assist in a 5-0 win over Bolivia in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match on Nov. 11, 2016.
Williams, 20, played in 29 matches (22 starts) in 2017 for T2, tallying three goals and one assist. The Freetown, Sierra Leone, native made one appearance for the Timbers last season, starting and scoring against Sounders FC in the fourth round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on June 13, 2017. Additionally, Williams was named No. 12 on the 2017 USL 20 Under 20 list.
-- visit www.timbers2.com --
I also want to remind everyone to keep an eye out for new Play The Kids episodes in 2018. There is a new website (www.PlayTheKids.com/) and you can now subscribe via iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher. If you were subscribed via iTunes before you will want to unsubscribe to the old feed and go to the new website and subscribe to the new feed. The T2 season preview episode is scheduled to release Friday March 9th!