UPDATE: The Timbers have formally announced the signing of Bodily as a Homegrown player for the 2020 season. From the official press release:
“We are excited to add a talented Homegrown player to the club in Blake,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager and president of soccer for the Timbers. “He already has experience playing with T2 during his time with the academy, and has excelled in his development at the collegiate level. Blake will start with T2 with an opportunity to earn first-team minutes. We’re happy for Blake and his family and look forward to his continued growth as he begins his professional career.”
Preseason training camp officially kicked off for the Portland Timbers today, and what better way to mark the occasion than with a little player news?
According to a tweet from Richard Farley, the team’s internal reporter and content producer, the Timbers have signed academy product and University of Washington standout Blake Bodily to a Homegrown player contract:
Numerous trialists will be training with @TimbersFC during the team's first week back, with a new Homegrown Player also on the field. Timbers Academy and U. of Washington product Blake Bodily will be on a HGP deal for the coming season. #RCTID #MLS— Richard Farley (@richardfarley) January 20, 2020
Bodily, a 22-year-old midfielder/attacker originally from Eagle, Idaho, attended Tigard High School and joined the Timbers academy in 2014. He spent some time with Timbers 2, making 33 appearances for the USL side from 2015–2017. He signed with University of Washington in 2016, and, after taking a gap year, he was a consistent presence in all three seasons he played with UW. He will be forgoing his senior year to sign with the Timbers.
A speedy attacking player who primarily played on the left wing in college, Bodily can also play as a right winger or central midfielder. He showed flashes of his talent as a teenager during his seasons with T2, where he chipped in four goals and two assists in just around 1,700 minutes.
Bodily had a modest first two seasons with UW, but most recently enjoyed a breakout junior season. In 2019, he was the top scorer for the Huskies, netting 12 goals and adding 6 assists over the span of just under 1,400 minutes played. He was a key contributor as the team made a run to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament, falling to eventual champions Georgetown. By the end of the season, he was named the Pac-12 Men’s Soccer Player of the Year, was a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann trophy, and earned first team All-American honors.
While Bodily’s talent is apparent, he is still somewhat inconsistent, and it will be hard to break into the stable of talented first-team attackers the Timbers boast at the moment. He will begin the regular season with Timbers 2 and have to wait for moments to earn first-team minutes, such as during the Campeones Cup or U.S. Open Cup tournaments. But it is also likely that he will get a chance to play during Portland’s preseason tournament at Providence Park next month, so we may not have to wait too long to see what Bodily could potentially bring to the Timbers.