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T2 Player Profile: Jake Gleeson

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Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

T2 opened their season on Sunday with 3-1 victory over Real Monarchs and a late-game stunner against Sacramento Republic, to defeat the defending USL champions 2-1.  With so many new faces, we will be profiling the 20 players signed or loaned to the USL side.

We continue with goalkeeper Jake Gleeson.

Number: 90
Position: Goalkeeper
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 200
Born: June 26, 1990
Hometown: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Gleeson, 24, joins T2 after spending last season between the Timbers and Sacramento Republic.

Winning the 2014 USLPro Championship with Sacramento, Gleeson made 17 appearances, for a record of 11-2-3, with 6 clean sheets, and also started two CONCACAF Champions League matches, the Timbers 6-0 victory over Alpha United, followed by a 3-1 loss to C.D. Olympia.

Gleeson appeared sporadically for the Timbers first team in both 2012 and 2013, appearing in the friendly against Norwich City FC in July 2013, and appeared in 12 matches with the Timbers Reserves, starting 8.  Additionally, he was on the match day roster for several Timbers first team matches.

Gleeson signed with the Timbers prior to the 2011 season, and was almost immediately pressed into duty following injuries to Troy Perkins and Adin Brown.  Making his MLS debut against Toronto FC on April 14, Gleeson would start the Timbers next four matches (3 MLS, 1 U.S. Open Cup qualifier), compiling a record of 2-1-1, including the inaugural match at the newly-renovated JELD-Wen Field, and won MLS Save of the Week for Week 2 and 5.  Additionally, Gleeson made 8 starts for the Timbers Reserves, finishing 7-0-1, as well as friendlies against Club America (Mexico), West Bromwich Albion (England), and Independiente (Argentina).

Prior to joining the Timbers first team, was the starting goalkeeper for the perfect (20-0-0) Portland Timbers U23s PDL Championship-winning side in 2010, making 15 starts, while playing alongside T2 teammates Steven Evans and Brent Richards.

Before coming to the United States, Gleeson played for Team Wellington of the ASB Premiership (New Zealand first division), making 5 appearances.  After a strong showing in the 2007 U17 World Cup, Gleeson had trials with Everton and Manchester United on the English Premier League, with neither trial resulting in a contract.

Appearing for New Zealand at the U17, U20, U23, and senior national team levels, Gleeson was a member of the All-Whites in the 2012 London Olympics, but did not feature in London after making 3 starts in Olympic Qualifying.  He has made 11 appearances overall between the U23s and senior national teams, most recently in November 2014.

Gleeson has already proven himself to be a more than capable goalkeeper at the club and international level, but injuries have held him back from breaking through as the starter.  With new Timbers goalkeeper Adam Larson Kwarasey much younger and sturdier than his predecessor, Gleeson will find his best opportunities to play coming with T2, where he is the clear starter, and will also be the likely starter should Kwarasey be unavailable.