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Miguel Ibarra, One that Got Away

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The Timbers draftee has been called up to the USMNT after two years in the NASL.

Andy Marlin

In the 2012 Supplemental Draft the Portland Timbers took Miguel Ibarra with the 27th pick, bringing him in to camp alongside fellow draftees Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Brendan King, Ryan Kawulok, Doug Herrick, and Logan McDaniel. Now, almost three years later, Ibarra has been called up to the United States Mens National Team, having spent the entire interim with Minnesota Stars FC in the North American Soccer League.

A creative left-sided midfielder, Ibarra was cut during the Timbers' preseason and soon caught on with Minnesota, then called the NSC Minnesota Stars. The Stars, owned by the league after their previous ownership group withdrew, went on to win the league in 2012, contributing five goals and five assists along the way. In the two years since Ibarra has chipped in another nine goals and six assists.

The Timbers' cut Ibarra with a wide midfield corps consisting of Franck Songo'o, Darlington Nagbe, Kalif Alhassan, and Sal Zizzo. At the time there was a general excitement for the Timbers' second season in MLS, with fans looking forward to the goals pouring in from new forward Kris Boyd and the continued midfield contributions of Jack Jewsbury.

The decision, and the optimism, do not look good in retrospect.

What about the rest of the Timbers' draftees from 2012?

Andrew Jean-Baptiste: The Timbers' second first-round draft pick played 31 matches in Portland, including 26 in his sophomore year as a professional. Over the offseason this year, AJB was sent to Chivas USA as a part of the trade that brought Jorge Villafana and Steve Zakuani to the Timbers.

Brendan King: After being released from the Timbers' preseason camp in 2012, King joined the Chicago Fire for the 2013 season, before being waived during preseason the following year. He has been without a team since.

Ryan Kawulok: The former Timbers U-23s player was signed by the Timbers and put in some quality preseason, reserve, and friendly appearances before being waived in 2013 as the Timbers made room for the signing of Rauwshan McKenzie.

Doug Herrick: A Seattle native, Herrick was beaten out by Jake Gleeson and Joe Bendik for the right to back up Troy Perkins in goal. Two years later, Herrick has caught on with USL Pro side the Charlotte Eagles, where he has primarily been the third keeper behind Alec Kann and the excellently named Brock Duckworth.

Logan McDaniel: McDaniel never had a chance to catch on with the Timbers due to a series of injuries that took him out of training camp. Since recovering, McDaniel has played all over the globe, including with Non-League Garforth Town in England and Kaya F.C. in the Philippians.